Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Balibo Fort lease

Damien, Rae, Rob Hudson and Ricardo Krauskopf recently visited Balibo following the signing of a 15+15 year lease on the Portuguese fort in Balibo, with the intention of developing visitor accommodation there. For years, people have visited balibo, but have had nowhere to stay. It is hoped that the Fort accommodation will address that need, as well as attract weekenders from Dili and tourists increasingly visiting Timor-Leste to the west of the country, where accommodation is still sadly in short and ordinary supply.

The proposal to develop the Fort house and surrounds was initiated by the Friends of Balibo and subsequently taken up by the Balibo House Trust, with the support of the Victorian government.

Initial plans for the accommodation have been drawn up and it is hoped that final plans can be completed within the next few months. Construction is estimated to take up to a year, providing some work for Balibo locals.

Redevelopment of the Balibo kindergarten is also in the planning stages, with funding having been raised for that project. In other works, it is hoped that the proposed Uma Media (Media House) project for Balibo will be able to progress later this year, providing Balibo with a radio station broadcasting to the district.

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