Sad day for Winton

That part of the country has enough problems with lack of rain, they didn't need this.

Waltzing Matilda center
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 07:09

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 07:09
Indeed. It was a magnificent place and will be a big blow for all us travellers as well as the locals
CJ
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Reply By: Member - Peter M (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 07:52

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 07:52
No they don't deserve this.
Hopefully they will be able to rebuild and start the hard slog of getting the memorabillia together again.
Good luck Winton
PeterM Qld
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Reply By: Bigfish - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 08:48

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 08:48
That's bad news for our history. Hope something can be done to rebuild. Unfortunately many valuable and one-off items will have been destroyed..

Sad day for Winton..
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Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 08:54

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 08:54
We were there last year, it was a great resource for tourists and the locals. Just another blow for them up there. We hope that there is an appropriate response from various levels of government to re-instate as much as is possible of this great facility.
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 10:19

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 10:19
Just saw this on the morning news in WA.

What a wonderful monument to our National Identity this was.

Huge, huge amounts of irreplaceable history has been destroyed. Such a blow, not only to Winton but all of Australia.

Given the tenacity of the Outback, I am sue they won't lay down with out a fight.

Our thoughts are with you

Cheers

Anthony and family
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 11:35

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 11:35
Thanks for posting this, Slow.

A devasting day for Winton, and the district! The Waltzing Matilda Centre was more than just a building to celebrate our national song.

It housed a Information Centre for travellers needing bookings, information and even reassurance about travel plans. There was a Westpac sub-branch helping to keep one and all cashed up, and local businesses to store their takings. A Gift shop with usual souvenirs, clothing and books about the district.

The Coolibah Cafe has been run by Amanda, and her staff for 17 years, producing excellent meals, snacks and pastries for local and tourist customers. The Gallery always had an interesting display of art, sculpture and photos, to view and purchase. There was a large amount of historic records of the local stations that seems to have been lost.

A number of dedicated locals spent many weeks preparing and researching a World War 1 display, prior to Anzac Day 2015, that commemorated the many local blokes who enlisted for the Great War. While they might have electronic records of this display, the display itself would have been destroyed.

As well as the loss of this icon, at least a dozen staff would now be unemployed in the short term. No doubt some effort will be put into opening a temporary information centre and possibly a Westpac facility.









On a somewhat brighter note, the Vision Splendid Film Festival is still going ahead. The Festival runs from 26/06/15 - 04/07/15, and features many Aussie films like Mad Max series, including Mad Maz 4, Last Cab to Darwin, with Michael Caton and many more that I can't find just now. :-)

The daytime screenings were to be in the McPherson Threatre at the Centre, but as that's no longer possible, another venue will be organised. Night time screenings will be in the Royal Threatre, an event not to be missed.

So please stop in Winton! Cheapest fuel in the Central West, meals available at all 4 pubs, and good coffee at Balamara Bakery and the coffee shop attached to the North Gregory Pub.Winton residents are a tough lot, but they'll still need some assistance to recover from this tragedy.

Thanks,
Bob & Linda (only been in the district 26 years)
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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 12:39

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 12:39
Good luck out there Bob...Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 20:10

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 20:10
Hullo Bob
Just so sad to hear of this fire and the devastation it has brought about.
We were there only last August and spent many days in Winton, enjoying the Centre and ancillary facilities as well as many other attraction in and around the town.
What with the drought and the resulting reduction in turnover for local businesses, this is a severe blow :-(
Please pass on our warm regards to Butch when you next see (just remind him of the white F250 :-)
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 20:12

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 20:12
Hi Bob

I did not know you were from Winton. We were there just over a week ago and had 2 great days in town. The centre was fantadtic and shows how proud the town people are for such a fantastic centre.

In true Aussie spirit, I know the centre will be back to life as quick as possible. We will be back in your great town again in a few days and if you are around, would love to catch up.

All the very best to the great people on Winton.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 20:52

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 20:52
Hello Bob,

I didn't know you were from Winton either. I'm very sorry to hear of the town's loss. We were there a couple of years ago and loved it, especially the Waltzing Matilda Centre and its centrepiece, the story of Waltzing Matilda. I hope you can restore it to what it was, a real gem.

Had a great time at the caravan park with a bush poetry competion - fabulous.

We'll be back - maybe see you there.

Cheers

FrankP

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Follow Up By: Fiona & Paul - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 22:33

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 22:33
Bob our thoughts are with all at Winton, we were up there 3 weeks ago for a few days on our way home from the Daintree - always come back home via Winton.

We will be back again sooner rather than later!

Regards Paul H & Fiona

Paul H
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jun 20, 2015 at 18:17

Saturday, Jun 20, 2015 at 18:17
Thanks for your thoughts everyone!

There's been a heap of support from many people, a lot of them being people like yourselves who have travelled through the area, and sampled some of the delights in the district.

As Peter mentioned below, a temporary Information Centre was opened yesterday in the old Wookatook premises. This is next to the newly refurbished Winton Pharmacy, or directly opposite Searles Outback Store.

The Council met yesterday and they have decided to rebuild on the same site and it is expected to be opened again in September, 2016.

Police haven't advised the cause of the fire, but they indicated that there were "no suspicious circumstances".

Some of the staff are now at the new Info Centre, and a number of others have secured employment at 4 different local businesses.

And the daytime venue for movies during the Vision Splendid Film Festival is to be the Shire Hall. This will be ideal, as it can seat many more people than the original venue.

And that's about all I know at present.........I don't get out much. :-)

Thanks,
Bob

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Reply By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 15:50

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 15:50
It's a huge loss but there are plenty of other things to do and see in and around Winton. The greatest thing Winton has going for it is its location at the junction of tourist highways and its participation in the Dinosaur industry. And the legendary water hole is "just up the road", as they say. Haven't made it to the water hole yet but it is on the agenda for next trip.

Let's hope the Waltzing Matilda Center was insured.

Cheers,

Kevin
Kevin
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 18:22

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 18:22
Ah so sad for the Winton Community.

We are planning to stop for a night or two in September, on our way from Boulia to Longreach, etc. I'm sure we'll still find plenty to occupy our time there.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jun 19, 2015 at 09:41

Friday, Jun 19, 2015 at 09:41
The Winton Festival is on in September, Bill, during the school holidays.

Always plenty to do when that's on. Also Lark Quarry will be open again before then, so that's worth a visit.

And Australian Age of Dinosaurs is open every day.

Bob

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Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2015 at 12:57

Saturday, Jun 20, 2015 at 12:57
Temporary Waltzing Matilda Center has opened a few doors away from old one.

PeterH
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