A massive new museum dedicated to showcasing the best of the Outback is to be built in Charleville in south-west Queensland.
The $8.34 million Outback Museum of Australia (OMOA) is expected to become a major tourist attraction, and is likely to prove highly popular with grey nomads.
Murweh Shire Council Mayor Shaun Radnedge told the ABC that the project would turn Charleville into a traveller magnet.
“This really puts us on the map,” he said. “This will turn the Outback into a tourism mecca, which we’ve known it always has been … but this has really put us on the forefront.”
Councillor Radnedge said the Outback Museum of Australia would celebrate the innovation of country residents and their ability to keep the nation running, against all odds.
“We’ve survived droughts, floods, fires, whatever you’ve thrown at us, because we are resilient,” he told the ABC. “It will showcase how we have handled that, because it’s decimated some of our communities, but we just keep bouncing …. why does it keep bouncing? Because people are willing to adapt, change their business models.”
The Murweh Shire Council has received $7.94m of Federal Government funding for the project, which will be built in Charleville’s existing Top-Secret Tourism Precinct, alongside the Charleville Cosmos Centre and the reimagined WWII Secret Base.
Councillor Radnedge told the ABC that the new museum would include exhibits on neighbouring Outback towns, and serve as a jumping-off point for road trips.
“You would come and potentially you might be going to Eromanga and you’ll see what’s in Cloncurry, and decide to go a different way,” he said. “Covid’s really given us the enthusiasm that we need to diversify to keep these people that are travelling.”
Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said it was a ‘proud day for Charleville’.
“This will transform the future of tourism in town,” he said.
There will be an international competition to decide on the final design of the museum.