His­toric ho­tel restora­tion gets boost

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The fi­nal piece of the puz­zle for the re­de­vel­op­ment of Roe­bourne’s his­toric Vic­to­ria Ho­tel has been placed with a $2 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion from the State Govern­ment’s Roy­al­ties for Re­gions.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man an­nounced last Fri­day the pro­ject, as well as a Build­ing a State of Cre­ativ­ity pro­ject by FORM had been ap­proved un­der the Pil­bara Cities Eco­nomic Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Fund.

Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Terry Hill said the Pil­bara’s rep­u­ta­tion as a min­ing re­gion was ready to change.

“This is a sign of things to come for the Pil­bara,” he said.

“We are on a jour­ney to­wards a more di­ver­si­fied econ­omy to sup­port our vi­brant and live­able com­mu­ni­ties.”

Once re­stored, the Vic­to­ria Ho­tel is seen to be­come a sym­bol of strength and new be­gin­nings for Roe­bourne, the old­est town in the North West which cel­e­brates its 150th an­niver­sary later this year.

The Yind­jibarndi Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion pur­chased the heri- tage as­set in 2013. YAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Wood­ley told the Pil­bara News in Jan­uary the plan was to turn it into a retail out­let for lo­cal tourism busi­nesses, of­fice space and a po­ten­tial cafe.

“Our vi­sion is to cre­ate a place where Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple can feel em­pow­ered to work and cel­e­brate their cul­ture,” he said.

The ho­tel re­ceived $2 mil­lion in fund­ing from the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Na­tional Stronger Re­gions Fund in late 2015.

The FORM pro­ject is a two-year fund­ing agree­ment which will de­liver eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and ca­pac­ity build­ing through tourism, small busi­nesses, cre­ative in­dus­tries and Abo­rig­i­nal busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.

FORM ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lynda Dor­ring­ton said they were grate­ful for the in­vest­ment.

“The suc­cess of this par­tic­u­lar grant will en­able sig­nif­i­cant pro­grams to be de­vel­oped which will have long term ben­e­fit to the Pil­bara com­mu­nity,” she said.

The re­main­ing projects iden­ti­fied for the $30 mil­lion fund are in their fi­nal stages of as­sess­ment.

Pic­ture: Lee Grif­fith

Michael Wood­ley.

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