Fears military museum could close with impending sale
THE future of the Central Queensland Military Museum is unclear, as the Training Depot Drill Hall Complex where it is housed is listed for sale.
The complex is a heritage-listed former drill hall located at 40 Archer St, Rockhampton, and was listed for sale with Knight Frank earlier this year.
Also known as the former Barracks of the Rockhampton 42nd Royal Queensland Regiment, the site includes a number of original buildings and has accommodated the Central Queensland Military Museum for the past 13 years.
President of the museum Barrie Harvey said they found out the site was listed for sale the day the sign went up on the front fence.
“The first thing that came to mind was what was going to happen to us if the property is sold,” Mr Harvey said.
“What is our future? That was our immediate concern and then we started to think about what our alternatives might be.”
He said if someone was to purchase the site and asked them to move out, they would have no choice.
“At this stage we don’t have anywhere to go if we were asked to leave,” he said.
“We have approached different people and put feelers out to see what might be available around the city, but we haven’t come up with anything at this stage.
“We are not looking for commercial properties because we wouldn’t be able to raise enough money to pay for the rent.
“We have been very lucky that the chap who bought the property has allowed us use of a number of the buildings free of rent. That is what we are looking for and we haven’t found any possible alternatives at this time.”
The Central Queensland Military Museum re-opened last Monday and houses artefacts from the military history of Rockhampton and surrounding areas. It includes American Army uniforms from World War II and a room devoted entirely to Rockhampton history.
The collection includes a Women at War display, personal diaries, war photographs, Light Horse memorabilia, badges and medals, and personal collections from Vietnam veterans. All items are donated by the local community.
Mr Harvey said if the museum were to close indefinitely it would be a great loss to the community.
“There is nowhere else in town where people can look at this type of history,” he said.
“We have school groups who come through and it is important for young people to have an idea of what the Australian servicemen and women have done for this country.
“To have a good future we need to know where we come from. We need to know our history and what the people of this country have done before us.
“If we are lucky, the new owner may develop the part of the property where the museum isn’t and is happy for us to remain where we are.
“We just hope the museum continues to exist in a location where it can be used by the citizens of Rockhampton and visitors to this city to see some of the military history of the Australian servicemen and women.”
The Central Queensland Military Museum is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 2pm.