Bogan Shire’s tourism and art scene will receive a significant boost with the NSW Government today announcing $1 million to transform historic Girilambone Railway Station into a Railway Heritage Museum and Indigenous Art Gallery.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today visited the disused railway station in Girilambone where he announced the funding from the $170 million Drought Stimulus Package.
Mr Barilaro said the funding would pay to establish a visitor hub with museum, café, commercial art gallery, artist workshop and a free campsite with a share of the funds to also pay for an expansion for nearby Nyngan Station Museum and Visitor Centre.
“This initiative will cement Bogan Shire’s status as a tourist destination in western NSW, building upon the amazing foundations already here and putting locals immediately to work during the construction phase,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We know the drought has hit the Bogan Shire community hard, so this development will provide immediate economic stimulus into the region with money earned in the shire staying in the shire to provide positive flow-on effects for other businesses.
“This funding will keep people in work by putting dollars into pay packets, cash that tradies, suppliers and other workers will spend at local businesses, such as cafes and local services to keep money flowing through towns when rivers are not.
Mr Barilaro said the railway heritage initiative will continue to benefit the Bogan Shire community in the long-term by helping to diversify the local economy and ensuring the availability of off-farm job opportunities down the track.
“This is a piece of strategic infrastructure because when tourists visit Bogan Shire in the near future, the community will continue to benefit from money spent in the local café, at nearby accommodation, retail stores and other attractions,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Bogan Shire has a strong railway history which locals are proud of and this new project will protect and promote this heritage for both future generations and visitors to appreciate and enjoy for many years to come. “I thank the Bogan Shire Council for its dedication to preserving its history and congratulate them on securing this funding.”
Bogan Shire Mayor Ray Donald OAM said council planned to provide $345,320 to the project which would boost morale and transform the shire’s heritage tourism sites into a modern precinct which the community would be proud of.
“The job opportunities that quickly arise from this development will give a much needed uplift to our community which has been really doing it tough through intense drought,” Mayor Donald said.
“The tourism development will also be fantastic for the Bogan Shire and we look forward to attracting businesses and tourists who will stay for longer, thereby increasing the region’s status as a place to visit in Outback NSW.
“We thank the NSW Government for its significant financial support of this heritage tourism project, which is greatly appreciated during these trying times.”