By HARRY CLARKE

THE announcement of a $7 million Outback Museum of Australia to be built in Charleville is tipped to significantly boost bush tourism and continue what’s being described as a “renaissance period” in the Mulga country town.

The museum project has for months been a tightly kept secret in Charleville, as the local Murweh Shire Council has worked to secure federal government money from the highly competitive Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

A total of $7.94 has been secured in the largest ever BBRF injection for South West Queensland. The balance from the $7 million museum construction will be spent upgrading Charleville’s existing World War II ‘Secret Base’ museum.

The exciting initiative was revealed to Charleville residents as the community came together to welcome home local footy hero Kurt Capewell, who was given the ‘keys to the town’ following his NRL premiership victory with the Penrith Panthers.

Kurt Capewell receives the “keys to the town” from mayor Zorro Radnedge and Maranoa MP David Littleproud

Murweh mayor Shaun “Zorro” Radnedge said the Outback Museum of Australia would be a “game changer” for Charleville and compliment the town’s renowned tourism icons.

“We are celebrating and cannot believe it. This is the lotto of grant funds in Australia and we are just absolutely pinching ourselves,” Cr Radnedge said.

“Charleville and surrounds are already known as a fantastic destination and this project will cement Murweh as the great gateway to the Outback.

“We will build a state of the art Australian Outback Museum to complement our famous Cosmos Centre and our history making WW2 museum.”

He said the application was submitted in partnership with Griffith University, whose tourism team led by Dr Brent Moyle brought an “elevated perspective” to the table.

Murweh Shire Council mayor Shane “Zorro” Radnedge is heralding funding for an outback museum at Charleville and upgrades at the WWII museum. IMAGE: Supplied

Maranoa MP David Littleproud MP made the announcement last night at the Charleville Town Hall.

In the short term, the museum is expected to create 27 full time jobs and over the longer term employ 116 people.

“It is vital we acknowledge Deputy Premier Barnaby Joyce and our local federal MP David Littleproud for believing in this project,”  Cr Radnedge said.

“The federal government knows we have done it tough for years and we are turning negatives into positives and this funding will go a long way for our community and add value to the entire region.”

More details about the museum and its construction time frame will be announced in due course.

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