Cowra's Japanese Garden to receive roof upgrade

Important renovations to cultural tourist attraction Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre have been made possible through round three of the Liberal and Nationals Government’s highly successful Building Better Regions Fund.

Riverina MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack was in Cowra today to announce the $307,442 grant.

Mr McCormack said the funding would replace the roofs of the Cultural Centre and Bonsai House.

“The existing timber shingles are in a poor state and need to be replaced,” Mr McCormack said.

“New copper clad shingles will provide better protection for the valuable collection of Japanese heritage items and solidify the site as an international tourist attraction for many more years to come.”

“It will help to continue the community importance of the Japanese Garden and further build the Cowra-Japan relationship as a result of the breakout in 1944 and the local war cemeteries,” Councillor West said.

“It is also a positive step for the Federal Government’s relationship with Japan.

“The Cowra community and the Council appreciate the support from Deputy Prime Minister and our local Federal Member, Michael McCormack.”

The five-hectare Japanese Garden, which is the largest in the southern hemisphere, was established to nurture the relationship between the Cowra community and the people of Japan. On 5 August 1944 – almost 75 years ago – more than 1000 Japanese prisoners of war who were housed in a detention camp in Cowra staged a breakout. It is the largest and deadliest military breakout in Australia’s history. The garden attracts more than 41,000 visitors each year.

Mr McCormack said the Building Better Regions Fund was about supporting local regions.

“We are supporting our regions through investing in important local infrastructure, as well as great community-building and planning initiatives under the Building Better Regions Fund and other Government priorities such as the Regional Growth Fund and our decentralisation agenda,” Mr McCormack said.

“In this round we are also investing more than $70 million in regional tourism infrastructure, to support those many regional communities that rely on tourism to bolster their economy.

“We have seen fantastic outcomes from the first two rounds, and today’s announcement continues our commitment to unlocking the economic potential of regional Australia and ensuring our regions continue to thrive.”

Mr McCormack has also announced $867,241 in BBRF funding towards a new commercial precinct at Forbes.