Winton Rebuilds an Australian Tourism Experience
Published Thursday, 27 April, 2017 at 02:30 PM
Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Mark Furner
The $22 million reconstruction of Winton’s iconic Waltzing Matilda Centre has begun.
On Thursday, April 27, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner joined with Winton Shire Mayor, Butch Lenton, Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud and the local community to turn the first sod on site and kick off construction.
“The start of construction for the new $22 million Waltzing Matilda Centre is an important and historic milestone for the people of Winton and tourism in outback Queensland,” Mr Furner said.
“$1.2 million has been invested by the Palaszczuk Government in cutting-edge architectural designs for the new Waltzing Matilda Centre, which the contractor estimates will support more than 200 jobs during construction and reinvigorate Winton’s rich tourist experiences.
“The architectural designs feature large, modern open spaces over 2250m2, to capture the true essence of the outback, bring to life the legend of Waltzing Matilda and complement the region’s incredible dinosaur attractions.”
Winton’s original Waltzing Matilda Centre was destroyed by fire in 2015.
“I want to thank the Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud for the $8 million the Australian Government has contributed to making the architect’s and community’s vision for the Waltzing Matilda Centre a reality,” Mr Furner said.
Winton Shire Mayor, Butch Lenton said the loss of the original Waltzing Matilda Centre was a heavy blow during a major drought, but the community and visitors had rallied together to ensure it wasn’t lost forever.
“The demolition and clean-up operation in 2015 was a tough time, but there’s no doubt about it, this is a town with a big heart,” Mayor Lenton said.
“The support we had after the fire, with people coming to the town and staying in the town, from all over Australia really, was much appreciated.
“I can’t count the number of fire-damaged objects that have been saved from the ruins through the efforts of locals, and also tourists who have happily volunteered their labour while passing through.
“This is one of the council’s biggest projects since the North Gregory Hotel in the 1950s. The Waltzing Matilda Centre is an iconic Australian attraction.
“I am genuinely thankful for the community and Government support for the rebuilding of this important part of Winton’s outback history.”
Construction of the Waltzing Matilda Centre is expected to be completed in February 2018, weather permitting, with an opening in mid-April after the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“It signals the return of a much loved icon and demonstrates what can be achieved when the three levels of Government work in partnership with local communities,” Mr Furner said.
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