Tarcutta museum left idling as legal processes delay council approval

BIG DREAMS: Bunny Brown is one of the driving forces behind the Tarcutta museum project.
BIG DREAMS: Bunny Brown is one of the driving forces behind the Tarcutta museum project.

Tarcutta residents are becoming frustrated over stalled plans to develop a truck museum in the town.

The Tarcutta Transport and Farming Museum site is not open to the public, despite having a shed and around eight vehicles already in place.

The issue is a legal one, arising from changes to the changes to the Native Title Act.

The government has had to change the Act after a federal court ruling threw land use agreements into doubt.

As The Daily Advertiser has reported previously, council approved a crown land lease conditional agreement in 2015 to develop a national road transport museum, men’s shed and tourist facilities on the north side of the town.

One of the conditions was that any development on the land was subject to consent. 

Crown Lands advised council in June last year that it was unable to grant ministerial consent to the lease because they could not find any evidence to confirm that Native Title had been extinguished.

The council has applied to the Federal Court to begin this confirmation process, but there has not yet been any decision. A public notice period only ended on August 2.

Council is waiting for a resolution of the land title clearance, which needs to occur before a licence to use the land can be issued,  director finance Natalie Te Pohe said on Wednesday.

Bur for Tarcutta resident Wayne Iremonger, the delays are hard to take.

Mr Iremonger has organised a petition, to be circulated in his community, seeking residents’ support in calling for authorities to help get the project up and running.

“I moved to Tarcutta almost two years ago and saw the opportunity to get involved with this much-needed tourist attraction, which had the definite potential for employment opportunities for the townspeople,” he said.

“Having been in the transport and farming industry for more than 30 years now, I could see this as a fantastic opportunity for all towns in our region.”

Despite the delays, Mr Iremonger continues to support the idea of the museum, which be believes could be used as a hub to welcome tourists to the wider Wagga region, and showcase what individual towns have to offer.

The Tarcutta museum is a long-held dream of Bunny Brown, from the Australian Long Distance Owners and Driving Association.

Having seen the success of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in remote Alice Springs, Mr Brown remains convinced the Tarcutta museum would also provide a drawcard for visitors to this region.

It is a vision shared by Mr Iremonger.

"Unfortunately, I have noticed this project has come to a standstill and I, along with the people of Tarcutta, would like to know why this has stopped, and also when it will be able to go ahead to reach its full potential,” he said.