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Busselton icon to get overhaul
Busselton icon to get overhaul

An icon of Busselton’s past has been removed from its resting place in Victoria Square to undergo valuable restoration.

The Ballaarat engine was the first steam locomotive used in WA, figuring prominently in the late 1800s for hauling timber to the Lockeville Landing in Geographe Bay.

But after showing signs of deterioration over ensuing decades, the City of Busselton has committed funds to have maintenance and metal works carried out at the South West Machine Centre.

South West Crane Services’ Lou Ramadam, who lifted the 8-tonne engine onto the truck yesterday, said it was special in the hearts of local people and he was glad something was being done.

City cultural planning and development officer Jacquie Happ said the major aim was to ensure the historic elements could be appreciated well into the future.

“It’s not necessarily about disassembling and adding parts, it’s about preserving the bits that are there,” she said.

With the help of volunteers the project was expected to take about 12 to 18 months, after which the engine would be stationed in a new building planned for the Busselton Jetty called Railway House.

Mrs Happ said with generations of children having played on the train it will be great when they are able to “scramble” over it again in its new home and a display of people’s old photographs may also be organised.