Waltzing Matilda Centre gutted by huge blaze

Published: June 18, 2015
Winton Fre

An early morning blaze has gutted parts of the Waltzing Matilda Centre at Winton in western Queensland.

Historic displays at the famous museum much loved by grey nomads have been destroyed, including a World War I exhibition.

The ABC reports that two crews from Winton and one from Longreach, almost 200 kilometres away, attended the scene in the early hours of this morning.

The tourism complex of the centre was gutted and the museum has been severely damaged by smoke and fire.

“Unfortunately it is a bit of a kick in the guts but we will tough it out and keep going with it,” Winton Mayor Butch Lenton told the ABC. “It has done some serious damage unfortunately. There have been no injuries and we are grateful for that, but unfortunately you lose a lot of history which you can’t regather.”

The fire has been extinguished, but its cause is not known at this stage.

The centre was built in 1998 after the centenary celebrations for the AB “Banjo” Paterson’s 1895 song and houses memorabilia and interactive displays.

* What memories have you got of Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre? Comment below.

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Kaye and Peter Bindokas
6 years ago

We were there just last Saturday, 13th June. We spent four hours wandering around, and that’s very unusual for us. We had lunch in the cafe so we could continue to wander. What a great place. So sorry this has happened, Winton – our condolences.

Ammette Furner
6 years ago

Hubby and I just stared at each other in shocked disbelief when the Winton Discovery Centre Fire flashed onto the TV screen. I teared up and Hubby was speechless. We visited the Centre in September 2013 and had the best time learning all there is on offer by the amazine staff and we purchased some goodies to take home for the family before taking some happy snaps outside. This is a terrible loss not only to the Winton community but to all Australians.

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