Recovery Fund Launched

While the fire did cause irretrievable loss volunteers have salvaged everything that can be recovered and repaired.  Bruce Collins (Winton Historical Society) has said support was overwhelming with phone calls, text messages and emails flooding in from people all through Australia.  Mr Collins was surprised at the amount of material that could be saved and that the society would be working with conservators from the Queensland Museum in the coming weeks.

 

Meantime it is expected that insurance will only cover up to about $12 million but Council would seek additional funding from the state and federal governments to increase the replacement of facility up to $15 – $18 million.  This will allow Winton to not just replace the Waltzing Matilda Centre but make the museum better than it ever was.

Facebook
Twitter
YOUTUBE

Staff Concerns and Insurance Assessment

As well as the loss of one of Australia’s premier tourist attractions and cultural artefacts the fire also left 18 people without work.  Mayor Butch Lenton in conjunction with Winton Shire Council worked to redeploy as many staff as possible while many of the rest have found alternative work within the district.

 

After insurance assessment and recovery of as many artefacts as possible the site will need to be demolished with plans for an exciting redevelopment to begin as soon as possible.

 

“Unfortunately it is a bit of a kick in the guts but we will tough it out and keep going with it.” – Mayor Butch Lenton.

Facebook
Twitter
YOUTUBE

Fire! At the WMC

Waltzing Matilda FireIn the early hours of Thursday 18th of June 2015 an electrical fault in the ceiling of the famous billabong scene caused a fire that soon spread throughout the complex.  By 2:00am the gallery, kitchen and reception were engulfed.  Firefighters arrived on site; two crews from Winton Rural Fire Brigade fought valiantly to contain the blaze and protect all neighbouring buildings.  Later in the morning the site was also attended by a Longreach crew to extinguish the flames.

 

Inspector Bob Stooke from the Fire and Emergency Service said most of the building had been destroyed by fire, smoke or heat damage, although some artefacts and adjoining buildings were saved.

 

The centre was opened in 1998 in celebration of the centenary anniversary of AB “Banjo” Paterson’s 1985 ballad however was also a museum for the regions rich history with ties to QANTAS, World War I and Australiana in general.

Facebook
Twitter
YOUTUBE