Prince Alfred Bridge Memorial Concept Unveiled for Community Feedback

The NSW Government has released a recommended proposal to memorialise the much-loved Prince Alfred Bridge in Gundagai, with members of the Gundagai community invited to provide feedback on the designs.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the proposal was developed following the assessment of the over 140 ideas put forward by Gundagai residents in September last year.

“The proposal recommends a memorial using salvaged timber, wire sculptures, historic photos and information, and technology to remember the bridge,” Ms Cooke said.

“The memorial concept aims to commemorate the bridge’s heritage, cultural and social significance while creating a new tourism site for Gundagai.”

“I strongly encourage Gundagai residents to provide feedback on the design to ensure it accurately reflects the massive role the Prince Alfred Bridge once played in the community.”

The memorial concept has been developed by consultant heritage architects Conrad Gargett in a Heritage Landscape Interpretation Strategy commissioned by the NSW Government.

Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the NSW Government is investing in Gundagai community by establishing this historic memorial.

“A big part of why people visit country towns like Gundagai is for the historic charm and that is why the NSW Government has committed to this memorial for the Prince Alfred Bridge,” Mr Anderson said.

“This will give people another reason to visit Gundagai, bringing money into the community and in turn creating valuable jobs.”

The recommended memorial would include features at the north end of the former bridge site off Sheridan Street as part of the Gundagai Heritage Walk, which would direct visitors to a second memorial site located on the floodplain.

It would include:

· A public viewing area off Sheridan Street. Timber gates made from salvaged timber would create a viewing point to a floating wire art sculpture that creates a 3D visual impression of the former bridge, looking toward a reinstated bridge trestle on the floodplain. Rustic seating would be provided using salvaged timber from the former bridge.

· An information panel at the viewing area with bridge photos, residents’ quotes, and a QR code to more online photos, information and a fly-through augmented reality experience recreating sights and sounds of the former bridge.

· Visitor access will be improved to the viewing area with car parking spaces, pedestrian crossings, line markings, bollards created from salvaged timber, and tourist signage.

· The reinstated bridge trestle on the floodplain at O.I. Bell Drive would feature a second elevated wire sculpture recreating motor vehicles crossing the bridge, a second information panel, a deconstructed timber deck at ground level, and more rustic timber seating.

Community feedback on the concept can be made online from Tuesday 17 May until Tuesday 31 May, or in person on Tuesday 17 May at Gundagai’s Foodworks and Woolworths (10.30-11am), Gundagai Services Club and Gundagai Library (12-1pm), or Gundagai Public School and Gundagai High School from (3-3.30pm). Once the community consultation period ends feedback will be assessed and the concept finalised. For further information and to provide feedback, please visit: Prince Alfred Bridge Memorial.

Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre Opens New Entrance Building

After years of setbacks and COVID-19 delays, thanks to grants provided by the NSW State Government, the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre have been able to cut the ribbon and unveil their new entrance and display building.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is delighted to have been there for the celebration of this opening and said this funding was important in keeping the centre in peak condition.

“The Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre in Cowra draws in crowds of hundreds of visitors each year, contributing to the flourishing tourism sector in Cowra,” Ms Cooke said.

“The team of passionate volunteers at the centre have worked tirelessly and shown real dedication and love in all they have done to enhance this space and grow its capabilities as a tourist destination.”

Mr Ian Cameron, Manager at the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre said he was very excited at the unveiling of this long-term project.

“What started its life as a storage shed has undergone a magical transformation and become a grand building with displays, souvenirs and even refreshments for guests.” Mr Cameron said.

“After having been postponed due to Covid-19, to be able get together for the opening of this building at our museum has been incredible, it brings joy to see visitors able to walk through and appreciate this new building.”

Further to the funding that has built the new entrance building, Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre has successfully obtained a further grant of $19,690 from The Community Building Partnership Program which will go towards building a 5-metre by 15-metre extension to the existing entrance and display building.

The Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre is not just a museum, but an interactive experience and a functional facility where maintenance and restoration works are carried out. It is widely considered and promoted as Cowra’s most significant industrial heritage site.