The heritage-listed Gwalia Settlement, recognised as the most significant historic miner’s settlement in Western Australia, is set for a tourism boom thanks to a major revitalisation.
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson, who attended today’s opening of the restored settlement, said the living ghost town will now have more sites for people to visit following the restorations of a number of buildings, including the Sly Grog Shop, Jack Longa’s, Art’s Place, Martinzoli’s Camp and Edna Wilcox’s Cottage.
“By showcasing the rich and diverse history of Australia’s gold mining towns through restorations such as Hoover House – home of Gwalia mine’s first manager, Herbert Hoover, who went on to become the 31st President of the United States – more people will be encouraged to visit this piece of Australian history,” Mr Wilson said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Liberal and Nationals’ Government’s $980,000 investment will bring major benefits to the regional economy.
“With an expected increase in visitors staying overnight, there will be greater opportunities for businesses in town to increase revenue, particularly during the Shire’s tourist season,” Mr McCormack said.
“This project is also contributing to the local economy by supporting 15 jobs during construction and creating a further three ongoing jobs within the local community.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Shire of Leonora Jim Epis said the Shire accepts responsibility as custodians of the State Heritage-listed Gwalia Precinct, clearly demonstrated by the number of conservation and restoration projects completed in the past five years.
“During this term, the Shire of Leonora has committed funding from its own resources to supplement funding from others to ensure the successful and on-time delivery of heritage projects,” Mr Epis said.
The $3,288,864 project was jointly funded with the Liberal and Nationals’ Government investing $980,000, the Western Australian Government $300,000, the Shire of Leonora $1,586,265 and Lotterywest $422,599.