Designs of Australian Workers Heritage Centre's new entrance building in Barcaldine.
Designs of Australian Workers Heritage Centre's new entrance building in Barcaldine.

Construction has begun, creating jobs in CQ

CONSTRUCTION has begun on an entrance building at Australian Workers Heritage Centre in Barcaldine.

Centre CEO Bob Gleeson said preparation began last week.

"We have already put in a retaining wall and have started a lot of preliminary works and extensive site preparation including sewerage and draining," Mr Gleeson said.

"All that work has been done, so that's progress."

The project, to build an entrance via Oak St, in addition to the current Ash St entrance, is expected to deliver about 50 direct and indirect jobs, all which will be allocated to locals.

Barcaldine building contractor Brett Jenkins will supply a team of workers.

Mr Gleeson said he was proud to see work start, providing jobs in a time of uncertainty.

"I think it's great," he said.

"We've been very much looking forward to it.

"It's something really positive at a time where it's very hard to find something positive."

The coronavirus is not expected to have any direct effects on construction, although Mr Gleeson said strict government requirements would be followed to ensure the safety of both workers and the public.

A demountable building will be placed on site to ensure workers have extra facilities and to prevent them from leaving site unnecessarily.

"We are putting in strict measures to make sure the site is safe to the public and the workers," Mr Gleeson said.

"That's very important for us now."

Mr Gleeson expected the new entrance building to be completed within six months, followed by the internal outfit.

The centre is dedicated to celebrating the lives and heritage of ordinary working people across the country.

Visitors can hear and read the stories of railway workers, blacksmiths, farmers, nurses and teachers who shaped the nation.

The new entrance will host a cafe and seating area, gift shop, rest rooms and children's activity room in addition to the current facilities.