The $22 million reconstruction of Winton’s iconic Waltzing Matilda Centre gets underway this week and the start has been marked by a visit to town by Local Government Minister Mark Furner and Federal MP David Littleproud.
They joined with Winton Mayor Butch Lenton, and the local community to turn the first sod on site and kick off construction.
Of the $ 22 million being spent, the Federal Government is tipping in $8 million, State is providing $1.2 million.
The project is expected to support more than 200 jobs during construction period.
The new centre will be more than just a re-build or make over.
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.
Winton Shire Mayor, Butch Lenton says 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. 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.”
“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.”
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.