Fire! At the WMC
In 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.