Refurbishment works began on the Willaura Station this week.
The renovation is part of a project designed to transform the iconic and historic building into a community space.
The work is being funded by the VicTrack’s Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings Program, which is injecting $2.3 million into transforming vacant heritage railway buildings into usable community centres.
Ararat Rural City Council mayor Paul Hooper said the journey to this stage had been a long process and the need was something identified by the Willaura Historical Society years ago.
“Lois Brain has worked tirelessly for the project. This has been made possible by a lot of work from her and her band of helpers,” Cr Hooper said.
Some of the renovations at the Willaura Station include the installation of new floors, gutters, down pipes, painting, new external ramps and shelters and a new electrical wiring.
The station will also have a new kitchenette, an accessible toilet and air-conditioners installed.
The station was a significant landmark in the journey of many of the gold diggers that flocked to Mount William in the Grampians.
Gold was discovered there in 1900.
“This historic station holds a special place in the heart of the Willaura community and the refurbishment works announced today mean it will be enjoyed by the community for years to come,” Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford said at the commencement of the refurbishment.
“I’m really pleased the Willaura community are one step closer to having their station building repaired, restored and returned back into community use.”
The refurbishment is estimated to take until September to complete.
The Willaura Station will join many other stations across the region, including Beaufort, Avoca and St Arnaud in refurbishment, which are being transformed to better suit community purposes.For more information on the program and refurbishment works at Willaura Station, please visit victrack.com.au