Rebuild Begins on Waltzing Matilda Centre

Media Release

FN058/2017

27 April 2017

Joint release with:

Mark Furner

Queensland Minister for Local Government

Butch Lenton

Mayor of Winton Shire Council

David Littleproud

Federal Member for Maranoa

  • Works have begun on the reconstruction of the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton
  • The reconstructed centre will include a visitor information centre, retail gift shop, art gallery and café
  • The Coalition Government has invested $8 million through the National Stronger Regions Fund

The community of Winton are a step closer to a reborn Waltzing Matilda Centre, with works beginning today on reconstructing the iconic tourist attraction destroyed by fire in 2015.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash was thrilled to see works begin on reconstructing the centre that celebrates the folklore and history around the famous song penned by A. B. “Banjo” Patterson in 1895.

“I was devastated to hear that the Centre was destroyed by fire back in 2015, and I know what it means to the community of Winton to have the restoration works underway,” Minister Nash said.

“This centre is a local icon and has provided a great range of entertainment to locals and tourists alike since its opening in 1998.

“I aim to build the kinds of rural communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and major regional attractions like this do just that.”

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, who joined the community today to mark the occasion, said the project will restore a valued community asset, a signature tourism attraction, and key economic driver in the Winton Shire.

“The Waltzing Matilda Centre reconstruction will rejuvenate visitor numbers to the region and generate business confidence in tourism,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The Centre will include a foyer area with a large open-air plaza, an exhibition space featuring interactive displays, a visitor information centre and retail gift shop, and an art gallery and café.”

“This project is anticipated to create up to 50 jobs during construction, and another 10 ongoing jobs. This is a great outcome for the community and I am looking forward to seeing the resulting increase in tourism from their work.”

Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner said the Palaszczuk Government invested $1.2 million in planning and the cutting-edge design of Winton's new 2250m2 Waltzing Matilda Centre.

“Today's start of construction signals the return of a much loved outback tourist icon and demonstrates what can be achieved when three levels of Government work in partnership with local communities,” Mr Furner said.

“It's a partnership that will bring to life the legend of Waltzing Matilda by capturing the true essence of outback Queensland while also complementing the region's world famous dinosaur attractions.”

Winton Shire Council Mayor Butch Lenton said that the occasion today being celebrated by the Winton community in association with Local, State and Federal Politicians reinforces the benefit of working together for the common good.

“The commencement of works in relation to the rebuild of the Waltzing Matilda Centre is a time to reflect on the importance of what the song Waltzing Matilda means not only to the Winton community but also to the Nation,” Cr Lenton said.

“The song truly bonds the Australian spirit that carries us in times of both great accomplishment and tragedy.”

Construction on the rebuilt centre is expected to finish by March 2018.

This project is jointly funded by the Coalition Government ($8 million),the Queensland State Government ($1.2 million), and Winton Shire ($13.06 million).