The good funding news for the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, continues under the federal coalition government, which announced on Monday it would provide $15 million for a variety of upgrades to the Longreach tourist attraction, and for the next stage of the Outback Entertainment Centre.
In September 2015, then-deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, flew into the regional centre to turn the first sod on stage one of the facility that seats 300.
That plus a new gallery devoted to the role played by Aboriginal stockmen and women, and the restoration of Dr Yaetes Cottage, were made possible with $5m from the Community Development Grants program, and opened in October 2016 with a concert by country music star, Lee Kernaghan.
Current deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, followed his predecessor to Longreach this week with $15m from the Building Better Regions Fund, some of which will be used for the construction of the second stage of multipurpose recreational and entertainment facility along with a commercial kitchen and training facility.
Mr Joyce said the funding would support the region’s tourism industry, and was thanks to the government’s strong economic management.
“This additional funding will enable the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre to operate 12 months a year rather than as a seasonal business.”
Mr Joyce also announced $11.3m for the Qantas Founders Museum’s Airpark Roof Project in Longreach.
He said the government was committed to investing in regional communities to ensure they remain viable.
“Since opening in 1988, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame has hosted more than one million people, highlighting the importance of this facility to local businesses.
“This funding will ensure visitors have the best experience possible.”
Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, said the project would upgrade and expand the facility’s current interactive and digital displays, and overhaul internet connectivity in preparation for the NBN rollout next year.
“Works will include the construction of the second stage of a world-class multipurpose recreational and entertainment facility along with a commercial kitchen and training facility that can be used as a community asset in times of flood or natural disaster.
“Thirty-nine new ongoing and part time jobs will be available including hospitality, administration, catering, digital and information technologies event management, environment, marketing and art curating.”
The project is being jointly funded by the coalition government, investing $15 million, and the Australian Rural Heritage Foundation Ltd, investing $5 million.