Caroline Kemp with a part of Gympie’s built heritage.
Caroline Kemp with a part of Gympie’s built heritage. Craig Warhurst

Call to preserve town heritage

GYMPIE needs to preserve its heritage before no-one can remember it at all, according to architectural designer Caroline Kemp.

In particular, Ms Kemp is concerned about the apparent lack of any plan to preserve a highly- visible part of the region’s architectural heritage, the timber footbridges that link the Old Gympie Railway Station to Lady Mary Terrace.

In a precinct which she says may one day be a significant heritage area for the region, it seems council, the state government and railway volunteers do not know who is in charge of renovations to the two bridges.

One of them is the easily visible footbridge over the railway line and the other leads, or used to lead, pedestrians across Mellor Street between the Railway Hotel and the station.

Both are significant, but apparently neglected aspects of Gympie’s important built heritage, she says.

“There’s a lot of talk about heritage, but not much action,” she told The Gympie Times, during a visit to the site.

“The footbridge across Mellor street is cordoned off and it seems everyone is just trying to work out who is going to demolish it.

“If it needs to be rebuilt, it could be lifted from its position onto the railway platform and rebuilt safely before being crane lifted back into place,” she said.

“Gympie has incredible potential to capitalise in the future on its built heritage,” she said, adding that volunteer effort and donations are available to some extent, if cost is the big negative factor.

“We have a donor of materials and plenty of people here would be interested in helping provide the skills base to get the job done.

“At the end of the day, people need to take control or they may be knocked down,” she said.

Gympie Times


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