Today I joined local residents and community leaders to celebrate the officially opening of Cloncurry’s new $11 million Community Precinct, which together with the new truck bypass represents a significant investment by the Federal Labor Government in this historic North West Queensland town.
I am proud that we were able to provide $2.4 million to help turn the Council’s vision of a modern, vibrant community hub into reality. The final product is a first-class facility comprising a library, gallery space for local artists and touring exhibitions, a function centre with multi-media facilities, commercial kitchen and open spaces.
The project also restored and refurbished the Shire Hall which dates back to 1939.
As well as being an ideal meeting place for locals, these new facilities will also bolster Cloncurry’s efforts to attract larger events and conferences to the North West, an outcome which would provide the region with an important new source of economic activity.
Over the past 128 years, Cloncurry has played a major role in Queensland’s extraordinary transformation from colonial outpost to a modern, prosperous society—and with the right support from both Brisbane and Canberra there’s no reason why its role in the State’s future can’t be just as significant.
Cloncurry took its name from the nearby river which years earlier had been named by Robert Burke in honour of his cousin Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry. At the time Burke and fellow explorer William Wills were on their ultimately tragic transcontinental expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf.
Some years later the town witnessed the birth of an Australian icon when the first ever flight of the Royal Flying Doctor Service took off from its airport on 15 May 1928.