His­toric site sig­nage aims to lift tourism

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A con­ser­va­tion project to show­case the his­tory of her­itage­listed Old Onslow has com­pleted another step, with the in­stal­la­tion of new in­ter­pre­tive sig­nage around the site last month.

A set of 21 in­ter­pre­tive pan­els, ex­plain­ing the his­tory of struc­tures around the Old Onslow town­site and di­rec­tional signs for tourists have been erected to pro­vide con­text at the aban­doned coastal set­tle­ment, as part of the $1 mil­lion Old Onslow Con­ser­va­tion and Tourism De­vel­op­ment Project.

Works on the project are be­ing funded by Chevron Aus­tralia and car­ried out with the Pil­bara Re­gional Coun­cil, Shire of Ash­bur­ton and De­part­ment of State De­vel­op­ment.

PRC chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Fri­day said the new sig­nage would serve to re-ac­ti­vate the his­toric site’s tourism po­ten­tial.

“The new signs are both in­for­ma­tive and vis­ually strik­ing on the land­scape,” he said.

“More im­por­tantly, they al­low vis­i­tors to un­der­stand and en­gage with lo­cal sto­ries from this his­toric site.”

The Old Onslow town­site was es­tab­lished more than 120 years ago as a ma­jor port servicing the wool in­dus­try at the mouth of the Ash­bur­ton River.

How­ever, res­i­dents aban­doned the orig­i­nal town, mov­ing about 20km away to where Onslow now stands at Beadon Creek, af­ter it sus­tained ex­ten­sive dam­age in a cy­clone in 1925.

Ini­tial sta­bil­i­sa­tion works on the old town­site were done in Jan­uary 2016.

The project’s next phase of con­ser­va­tion works, on the po­lice sta­tion and jail com­plex struc­tures, are due to start in com­ing weeks.

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