A State Government management order has been secured for the Original Railway Station building on Marine Terrace.
The City, its residents and visitors, are set to benefit from the management order that will save more than $11,000 a year as land ownership is retained by the State, but provides the City with management of the facility at no cost.
Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney was involved in negotiations with the State Government securing the management order and the City have said it will save them thousands of dollars in lease fees.
The Original Railway Station is one of the City’s much loved heritage buildings that has for many years been left to languish as a suitable tenant could not be found.
It is now being lovingly restored, thanks to funding from the City of Greater Geraldton and the State Government through its Royalties for Regions program and Lotterywest, and will become the new home for the Geraldton Visitor Centre.
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor, Ian Carpenter, said it was great news.
“The Premier has confirmed that the State Government has offered the Original Railway Station to the City under a management order. This is great news for our residents and means the City will save tens of thousands of dollars over the years,” he said.
Mr Blayney said he is very happy to see the City and the State working together to preserve and use the iconic heritage building.
“The Original Railway Station Building has remained in a derelict condition for some time,” he said.
“Given the significant and cultural heritage values of the building, and the large investment the City and the State Government is making, the proposed usage of the Original Railway Station as the Geraldton Visitor Centre is consistent with the land being again reserved for Community Purposes, with a management order provided to the City.”
Restoration and refurbishment works are scheduled for completion in November ready for the Geraldton Visitor Centre to move in.
Visitors will experience the history of this iconic building with interpretive heritage signage and audio oral history detailing the life and times of the building which also in the past has housed the Mechanics Institute, a library and the museum.
Geraldton was part of the first government railway line in WA making the Original Railway Station the oldest in existence in the State.
The friendly visitor centre staff will welcome visitors into an open plan information ‘hub’ covering all there is to see and do in Geraldton and its surrounding Coral Coast neighbours, as well as an expanded retail section featuring local products.
A special ‘themed’ area will take advantage of key seasonal attractions including the region’s wildflowers.
A new café opening onto a foreshore-facing deck will encourage people to stop, take a break and plan their exploration of the region’s beautiful area. There will also be space to relax, read and discover in the first floor interpretation area featuring audio history, local artists’ works and more.