The lovely town of Winton is about 450km away from Mount Isa so I don’t get there as often as I would like.
And while it has a dual identity as part of the mid-west of our state, our newspaper has always considered it to be part of the north west region that we cover.
It’s been a good week for the town with Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey making a couple of important announcements that will cement Winton’s status as one of the great tourism destinations of the outback.
Firstly Mr Bailey said the state government had allocated major funding grant to pave the road to Winton’s popular Age of Dinosaurs museum through the Transport and Tourism Connections program.
Mr Bailey said the program provides financial support to established tourist operators to improve their transport and road accessibility.
Winton Shire Council successfully applied for two sets of funding with a combined total value of $2.25 million.
Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Mark Furner was in Winton Thursday to make the announcement.
“This is an important initiative for Winton after recent floods damaged the museum’s only access road,” Mr Furner said.
“The Age of Dinosaurs museum is just one of the unique sites here in Western Queensland for tourists that nowhere else in the world can offer.”
Mr Furner also turned the first sod with Winton Mayor Butch Lenton and Maranoa federal member David Littleproud on the $22 million reconstruction of Winton’s iconic Waltzing Matilda Centre.
The construction will support more than 200 jobs and will reinvigorate Winton’s rich tourist experiences.
Winton’s original Waltzing Matilda Centre was destroyed by fire in 2015.
By the time you read this, I’m off on holidays for two weeks.
I’ll be back on deck on Monday, May 15 – just in time for MineX 2017 which goes from May 16-18 (though May 16 is an industry only day).
The North West Star will have a stall at MineX so I may see you there.