Tamworth Regional Council to vote on train station's future

END OF THE LINE: Historical society members Melinda Gill and Rod Hobbs don't want the West Tamworth station torn down. Photo: Jacob McArthur
END OF THE LINE: Historical society members Melinda Gill and Rod Hobbs don't want the West Tamworth station torn down. Photo: Jacob McArthur

THE historic West Tamworth train station could be approaching its final destination as council eyes-off demolishing the dilapidated site.

A local historian said it would be a sad day to see another historic Tamworth building torn down, if the proposal was approved.

Councillors will vote on the future of the 140-year-old site at their meeting on Tuesday night, with a report recommending the station is demolished.

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The Tamworth Regional Council report estimated it would cost up to $600,000 to restore the station to its former glory.

“It will be a sad day to lose another building in Tamworth,” historian Melinda Gill told The Leader.

Where are we going to be in 100 years? We’re not going to have anything left.

Tamworth Historical Society's Melinda Gill

“Where are we going to be in 100 years?

“We’re not going to have anything left.”

Ms Gill said it was important for towns to hold on to their old buildings to give perspective on civic development.

“It gives a sense of how the town has developed and where we’ve come from,” she said.

Ms Gill argued to have the site restored as a functioning station and museum.

If the station was demolished, it could mean heritage trains wouldn’t be able to visit Tamworth because they’re too heavy to cross the viaduct bridge on the way to the East Tamworth station, Ms Gill said.

The report considered by council estimated it could cost up to $600,000 to restore the building.

“The estimated expenditure to refurbish the building is $250,000 to $600,000 which is considered by John Holland to be a significant investment where there is currently no commercial viability,” the report said.

“Further, is not associated with an existing or proposed community adaptive re-use project.”

It also said there was a “lack of interest by local community groups in potential future adaptive re-use of the station building”.

Asbestos and other hazardous material has been found in the station.

“It is unfortunate that the building has been left to deteriorate,” the report said.

“However, in its current condition it is unsafe and as a consequence a decision must be made as to its future.

“In the circumstances, it is recommended that the application be determined by the granting of consent, thus allowing the West Tamworth Railway Station Building to be demolished subject to the recommended conditions.”

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