TAMWORTH Regional Council has rejected an offer from the state government to take over ownership of the decrepit West Tamworth Station.
The station, which is currently managed by contractor John Holland, has been in a state of neglect for decades and if council was to take over ownership, it would also be footing a large restoration bill.
“John Holland Rail, on behalf of Transport for NSW, has offered community lease options for the West Tamworth Station to both Tamworth Regional Council and the Tamworth Historical Society for nominal consideration so that this non-operational asset can be restored and re-purposed for community use,” a John Holland spokesperson said.
“The Tamworth Regional Council has previously not chosen to proceed with an application.”
Tamworth councillor Juanita Wilson said while council was happy to work with the government to restore the building, “the bottom line is it’s the state government’s property”.
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“The state government has a heritage department and it has a declared interest in retaining heritage and history,” Cr Wilson said.
“The station was basically the first government transport to Tamworth and it really activated a more efficient agricultural industry.
“It is an essential part of our history.
“The recent success of the heritage festival shows people want our history preserved.”
Cr Wilson said the station’s future was high on the agenda of council’s heritage working group, who were not only seeking to ensure its preservation, but its reactivation into a useful destination for Tamworth groups.
“What I see as a good place to start, is finding groups interested in using that in the future,” she said.
“Once we identified them, it will make it easier to restore because we can show there is a need for it.
“I’m sure there are many groups that can find that destination useful for their activities.”