The Tweed River Regional Museum at Murwillumbah is to be extended after councillors voted to fund the $2.6 million project.
The single-storey addition to the building will cost $1.5 million and will be built at the rear of the museum, on the corner of Bent Street and Queensland Road, near the Murwillumbah Showground.
Councillors voted in April to fund design work by architect Paul Berkemeier. His design is expected ‘to provide improved dynamic display areas and associated facilities’.
The design allows for a future addition of a mezzanine floor across a third of the new floorspace. Councillors were told the design would blend in with the original historic building, built in 1915 and used as the council chambers until 1948.
Only Cr Katie Milne voted against funding the project, after urging councillors to defer the vote until she could be sure museum volunteers were supportive.
‘I want to be respectful to these volunteers as they still have some issues,’ said Cr Milne. ‘It is the volunteers who are going to have to pack up the whole museum and put it into storage and then bring it all back. It is an enormous amount of tedious labour. Some of the volunteers have been quite disheartened by the process.’
But council’s director of community and natural resources David Oxenham told councillors the museum volunteers were now ‘unanimously endorsing’ the project.
‘Despite initial hesitation there is now support,’ he said
Tweed River Historical Society, which operates the museum, is a non-profit body engaged in preserving, displaying, researching and publishing the history of the Tweed River Valley.