WILLIAM FINDS HOME OUT WEST
Thallon’s hopes rest on wombat
THE tiny outback community of Thallon is hoping the arrival of a giant wombat will reinvigorate the economy and build hope for the future.
William the Wombat is a two-metre high and three-and-a-half metre long recreation of the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed variety.
He was created in Brisbane and has just been unveiled in his new home at Thallon. William’s creator, Natureworks’ David Joffe, said the plan was to develop an icon for Thallon, because it was one of the original habitats for the northern hairy-nosed wombat.
“But over the last 60 to 100 years, the animal has actually become extinct in that area,” he said.
There are now just 250 remaining – 240 at Epping Forest National Park near Clermont and 10 at Richard Underwood Nature Refuge near St George.
“The town of Thallon is hoping William can put this little tiny town on the map,” Mr Joffe said.
Thallon came up with the idea to create William after a community meeting in 2015 to reinvigorate the community after years of drought, loss of services and population decline.
The Wombat Foundation is dedicated to conserving the breed and sponsored the project to build William.
Thallon Progress Association spokesperson Leanne Brosnan said it was about raising pubic awareness to bring northern hairy-nosed wombats back from the brink.
“It’s also about bringing Thallon back from the brink,” she said.
“The town has suffered through many years of drought, so this is a shared aim.”
William was unveiled in a ceremony last Friday where Thallon State School students sang, and the QCWA provided an afternoon tea of sweet treats, including crowd favourite wombat-shaped biscuits.
NEW HOME: Balonne Mayor Richard Marsh with newly installed WIlliam the Wombat, in Thallon.
WELCOME HOME: Thallon State School students sing Welcome to William at the official unveiling in Thallon last Friday.