Yarloop workshops to steam ahead

Headshot of Briana Fiore
Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter

Reconstruction of the Yarloop Workshops could start soon after master plan amendments were discussed at the Harvey Shire Council briefing session last week.

The original timber mill workshops were destroyed in the devastating 2016 Yarloop-Waroona bushfires that wiped out the town in just seven minutes.

Council officers presented the proposal and said the workshops would be a driving tourism factor after COVID-19.

They believed international travel would be hindered because of the pandemic and said Yarloop could become a popular tourism hotspot for travellers within WA.

Harvey shire chief executive Annie Riordan believed it was possible for the workshops to go ahead during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We would love to see the Yarloop Workshops up and running, it would be great for the town,” Mrs Riordan said.

The Harvey Shire Council began the redevelopment of the workshops in 2018. The plans highlight a need for an interpretation of the original buildings through the new structures.

They also hope to incorporate the town’s history such as the workshops, the timber industry and the destructive fires of 2016.

The council document stated that extensive community consultations were held in a series of workshops.

The first concept master plan was submitted to the council at the concept forum in February.

There were then amendments to the master plan after the extent of development and budget were substantially reduced.

The proposed redesign would include a steam workshop, working facilities, a men’s shed and a viewing deck.

The council report stated $700,000 had been included in the 2019-2020 budget for consultation and initial stage one works on the site. A further $2,750,000 could be put towards the project in the 2020-2021 draft budget.

Harvey shire president Paul Gillett believed the workshops would bring great economic benefit to the town.

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