Ratepayers are footing the bill to keep the WoodWorks Museum open but the historical icon need to be preserved says Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett.
Ratepayers are footing the bill to keep the WoodWorks Museum open but the historical icon need to be preserved says Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett. Contributed

Council running WoodWorks Museum

THE WoodWorks Museum is losing more than $100,000 a year and only remaining open through council’s budget allocation but that is not the reason councillors have taken over responsibility for its day to day running said Cr Tony Perrett.

Behind closed doors at a council meeting this week, Gympie region councillors voted to take management of the museum until June 30 next year, from Gympie Cooloola Tourism (GCT).

And they will investigate alternate options for its management.

Cr Perrett, council’s Community and Economic Development chair, said it was simply a case of GCT wanting to focus on their core business of promoting tourism opportunities in Gympie and from October council would look after operations.

He said GCT hadn’t done a bad job managing WoodWorks over the past year.

“(GCT) They’ve done the best they possibly can,” Cr Perrett said.

Attracting visitors back to the museum after they had already seen all the exhibits was hard, he said and a concern for council.

The information centre, which leads a lot of foot traffic in the direction of WoodWorks, will stay but council will investigate options to save costs and ways to drum up business.

This year an almost “bare bones” allocation of $120,000 from council’s coffers will run the museum.

“These things don’t always pay for themselves and council bears the cost.”

Most of the money goes towards maintenance costs.

About 16,000 people visited the WoodWorks last year and it made about $13,000; in order to pay for itself 10 times as many people need to visit.

Cr Perrett said it was essential for council to step in, when the State Government planned to close the museum, to save the region’s history.

The State may have wanted to offload the museum due to the fact it wasn’t profitable, he speculated.

Cr Perrett encouraged locals to grab their friends and visit the museum.

“It’s very important to get locals to love it and use it.”

Gympie Times


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