Noosa Council (now part of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council) received $100,000 in funding for the restoration of the historic Cooroy Lower Mill boiler through AusIndustry’s Australian Tourism Development Grant round five. The Hon Warren Truss MP publicly announced the grant and presented a promotional cheque to Noosa Council Mayor Bob Abbot and Cooroy Lower Mill Board chairperson, Seb Vecchio on Thursday October 11th at the Cooroy Lower Mill Site.
In addition to the AusIndustry funding, Sunshine Coast Regional Council will inject a further $202,000 into the project. With an anticipated project completion date of May 2009, the funding enables:
- the refurbishment of the sawmill boiler as a heritage interpretation centre including restoring the building to a useable space for static display including interpretive panels, photographs and artefacts.
- historical plantings of species which were significant to the local indigenous people and the timber industry accompanied by interpretive panels.
- additional interpretive panels throughout the site at strategic points such as the Butter Factory to create a continuous experience for visitors which leads them through the site and also explains the historical relevance of the timber and dairy industries.
Seb Vecchio, Chairperson of the Cooroy Lower Mill Site Board said, “This is a great achievement for the Noosa Council and the Cooroy Lower Mill Site Board. We are so pleased to be able to preserve this important iconic landmark while also providing an attraction that enhances the town and highlights our rich pioneering heritage.”
Anticipated to increase tourist visitation to Cooroy by a conservative estimate of 20,000 people per year, the project will provide increased revenue to the town and significant economic and job growth for the region as a result.