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Time to breathe life into Warwick Railway Precinct

POTENTIAL: Inside the old goods shed at the Warwick Railway Station, which could work as a new venue for the Warwick Art Gallery or even a cafe.
POTENTIAL: Inside the old goods shed at the Warwick Railway Station, which could work as a new venue for the Warwick Art Gallery or even a cafe. Jeremy Sollars

IT'S TIME to stand up and make your voice heard if you want the Warwick Railway Precinct preserved.

The Southern Downs Regional Council has given the okay for a working group, led by the Warwick Chamber of Commerce, to investigate the need for a tourist hub.

A vision by the Chamber of Commerce would see the Visitor Information Centre and Art Gallery relocated to the precinct.

Chamber president Bruce Partridge said a treasure trove of Warwick's history did not need to be lost.

"It's time for the community to take ownership and strive to develop a lively, active art, craft and market hub," he said.

"At the same time creating a really solid tourist attraction by expanding on Southern Downs Steam Railway."

Community members are already beginning to express interest in the attraction including the Stockyard Hotel's new owner George Smith.

"I'm a commercial builder and I've done a lot of work in Brisbane," Mr Smith said.

"These types of things automatically grow.

"This is the type of thing that makes towns thrive.

"I'd be more than happy to put my skills to use to get this complex off the ground."

Member of the Warwick Potters Pam Wright said there was an enormous amount of art and craft people who had limited avenues to showcase and sell their works.

"Hopefully this new tourism hub could be a win-win situation for everyone," she said.

"There are quilters, artists, sculptors, potters, woodcrafters, textile artists, spinners and weavers who could all benefit. Whenever I have the chance to travel, art, craft and unusual shops are always what I seek out, as well as the usual tourist haunts.

"It is very evident that these types of shops can really become a drawcard in many small towns for tourist buses and travellers in general."

Chamber of Commerce treasurer Lewis von Stieglitz agreed if the community supported the venture it would be worthwhile for everyone.

"It could become a tremendous function centre," he said.

"It's something Warwick has needed for some time.

"It could become a signature place people go before exploring the rest of the town."

Mr von Stieglitz said nothing would happen unless locals expressed interest. If you are interested in being part of the group phone Mr Partridge on 0429 032 767.

Topics:  bruce partridge chamber of commerce



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