To ensure the safety of users and visitors to the Worsley Cottage Museum Complex, Central Goldfields Shire has directed that access to the Historical Cottage be restricted until further notice.
Central Goldfields Shire General Manager Infrastructure Assets and Planning Rebecca Stockfeld said community safety is paramount.
“Worsley Cottage is a much-loved community asset and a popular tourism attraction for visitors to our region.
“Our safety concerns are focused on the historic bluestone cottage itself, and so the next steps are for a structural engineer to carry out a full building assessment so that we can develop a restoration plan.
“We’ll continue to work closely with the Maryborough Midlands Historical Society over the coming weeks and months as we identify the process moving forward.”
Maryborough Midlands Historical Society President Irene Oxley said “We’re understanding that the historic Worsley Cottage must be closed to visitors pending repairs. The cottage is the centrepiece of our Museum Complex. However, the cottage is owned by the Council, and we understand completely that their first consideration is for the health and safety of volunteers and visitors.”
“The cottage has been the headquarters of the Maryborough Midlands Historical Society since 1976. The oldest section, the two front rooms, were hand-built in locally-quarried stone in 1894 by Arthur Worsley a stonemason, who was one of the contractors who built the town’s Main Drain.”
Mrs Oxley stressed however, that visitors are still welcome to visit the cottage garden and the outbuildings (including the squatter’s hut, the wash house and the machinery shed).
“The Resource Centre at the rear of the property will not be affected. Our family history research facilities and services will continue to operate as usual, and our museum display room (which includes the Wal Richards, Tilly Aston, Herring, and Ogle pharmacy memorabilia, plus the pioneer photographs and aboriginal artefacts will remain open.”
“We look forward to liaising with the Council over the coming months.”