Elise Archer, Minister for Heritage and Roger Jaensch, Minister for Environment and Parks
The Tasmanian Government understands the value and importance of the State’s heritage sites.
A major restoration of two iconic West Coast buildings, the Customs House and the Bond Store, is now complete thanks to $300,000 of funding as part of the Government’s Improved State-wide Visitor Infrastructure program.
The project, undertaken by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, is part of the Government’s Investing in Our National Parks and Reserves election commitment.
Located on the western end of the Esplanade in Strahan, the Customs House building and the adjoining Bond Store reflect the late 1800s prosperity of Strahan as a major shipping port during the West Coast mineral boom.
The site is entered on the Tasmanian Heritage Register and recognised as an important aspect of Tasmania’s heritage, primarily for its architectural qualities in the Victorian academic classical style, historic associations, and community values.
The Customs House building has had many important roles over time including as a customs office, court, telegraph office, marine board, library, and post office. It was also used as a base for protesters during the 1983 Franklin Dam blockade.
The Bond Store was built in 1894 and was used to store goods that passed through the port of Strahan. Following this, it was utilised as a drill hall during the First World War and more recently as a community hall.
The project was designed to undertake necessary restoration works on the Bond Store and Customs House buildings to prevent further degradation and return the historic buildings to their former appearance.
Several local contractors were engaged in the project works, providing valuable job opportunities for the region.
These buildings will now continue to benefit the local community, commercial businesses, and Parks and Wildlife by providing office, business and retail space in visually striking and structurally sound heritage buildings for years to come.
The project has enabled conservation of local Tasmanian historic cultural heritage through maintaining a suite of buildings that are relevant to and highly valued by the local West Coast community, benefiting future tourism and education for younger generations, and the productive and sustainable use of reserved land and infrastructure.