Funding to help make local history more accessible

State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries visited Euabalong on Friday to announce heritage funding for the historic Booberoi Woolshed. He is pictured with station owners Susan, Dennis, Maddox and Georgina Stewart and Paula Ewing. Photo contributed

Two projects in the Cobar Shire that will help to preserve our history are set to benefit from over $180,000 in grant funding.

State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries announced last week that the historical Booberoi Station Woolshed near Euabalong will received $100,000 while $80,390 is to go to the Great Cobar Heritage Centre from the NSW Government’s Heritage Near Me Local Strategic Project funding.

Mr Humphries said the work to be done at Euabalong will secure the future of the Booberoi Woolshed Complex through the preparation of foundational pieces of specialist advice, a heritage assessment and an adaptive reuse options study, and a building conservation program.

“The project will enhance local and regional heritage skills through the integration of a training program for local youth into the building conservation program, as well as being a case study for a UNSW School of Architecture course with a focus on rural heritage and sustainability,” Mr Humphries said.

Booberoi station owner Dennis Stewart said they were very excited about the restoration project.

“It’s something we could never have undertaken to do ourselves,” Mr Stewart told The Cobar Weekly.

He said it will be a big project to restore the shearing shed complex which records show dates back to the early 1900s, and once saw 250,000 sheep go through it each year.

“It’s a very unique building in terms of its construction,” Mr Stewart said.

The shed had 30 stands, a long covered walkway that connected to a sweating shed, shearers quarters, a dining room as well as separate accommodation for the wool classer and other workers.

“It’s in disrepair now but all salvageable,” he said.

Mr Stewart, who has lived in the Euabalong area for the past 36 years, bought Booberoi 18 months ago and, while they don’t run sheep on the property now, said he was keen to see the shed restored.

He said there has always been a lot of local interest in the shed and the community will be invited to be a part of the restoration process.

They plan to hold open days so the public can see the shed ‘before and after’ the restoration process and ultimately their goal is for it to be open for events and visits.

Mr Humphries said the funding for the Great Cobar Heritage Centre will go towards the installation of an accessible ramp.

“This project will see the construction of a disabled access ramp and brick retaining wall to the Great Cobar Heritage Centre that is sympathetic to the historical nature of the museum, which includes the Visitor Information Centre.

“This will increase access and enjoyment of Cobar’s main cultural facility.

“Heritage is an important foundation of our Barwon communities” Mr Humphries said.