Push to save historic hut

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
The Bolghinup Hut needs input from interested parties to make sure it is not lost to bushfires.
Camera IconThe Bolghinup Hut needs input from interested parties to make sure it is not lost to bushfires. Credit: Supplied

Concerned citizens have banded together with a plan to save an almost 140-year-old drover’s hut from potentially being destroyed in a bushfire and losing a piece of the region’s history.

The Bolghinup Hut was built by the Giblett family in 1880 and is located in dense scrub and trees about 30km south-west of Pemberton near the Yeagarup Dunes.

About 30 Friends of the Hut members, as well as Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Manjimup Shire Council and Manjimup Rotary Club representatives met at the Timber Park on Saturday to come up with a plan to save the historic structure.

A majority of the people voted to lobby to move the hut to the Timber Park — rather than retain its location and do land clearing.

Rotary Club member Doug Moyle said it was important to build up renewed interest in the hut to show the community cared about its future.

“A squeaky wheel gets the oil and so the more we make noise, the more it demonstrates to DBCA there are people who want it preserved,” he said.

“This hut should have been preserved for its historic value.”

Mr Moyle said while no costings had been done to move the hut, he believed it would be at least $100,000.

Hut relocation coordinator and former DBCA employee John Evans said while he wanted the hut to stay in its location, he was a realist.

“It is only a matter of time until it is burnt so it should be moved,” he said.

“Embers from a fire close by will result in the hut being burnt because the timbers are tinder dry.

“Over the years so much of our heritage has been lost.”

At the meeting, Mr Evans also said the Heritage Commission’s normal policy is for heritage-listed structures to stay in situe.

People voted to write to the Manjimup Shire Council for official support to move the hut and letters also be written to the Heritage Commission and other relevant authorities to request support for the group’s work.

Manjimup shire president Paul Omodei encouraged the Friends of the Hut to seek support from the council for consideration in the upcoming budget deliberations.

One of the comments at the meeting was it was not just about moving a building, but about capturing the region’s history and culture.

The DBCA will also be asked to upgrade a road to the hut and volunteers be allowed to clear around the hut.

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