Friday, February 23, 2024

Secret Charleville WWII base reborn

Murweh Shire Council Mayor, Shaun Radnedge recently joined Queensland and Australian Government MPs and regional dignitaries to officially open the WWII Secret Base tourism attraction in Charleville. 

Mayor Radnedge said the new tourism complex was an acknowledgment of the importance Charleville played in Australia’s wartime history. 

“Charleville played a significant role during the Second World War and our town hosted thousands of American servicemen between 1942 and 1946. We need to remember and celebrate the close military alliance between Australian and US forces,” the Mayor said. 

He was joined at the historic gathering by Queensland Minister for Tourism, Innovation, and Sport, Stirling Hinchliffe, who also serves as the Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement, and Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud.

Murweh Shire Council Mayor, Shaun Radnedge with Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud.

Minister Hinchliffe said the Government’s Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund investment in the WWII Secret Base highlighted an extraordinary time in Charleville’s history.

“This interactive visitor experience lifts the lid on an astonishing eight-decade-long military secret, previously known only to those who had sworn oaths of silence,” he said.

“With the eyes of the world turning to Queensland on our runway to 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we want to see Charleville’s WWII Secret Base on the radar of US visitors.”

The WWII Secret Base will take visitors on a journey back in time and shed light on the special and secret role that the United States of America and Charleville played during the war in the Pacific and the defence of Australia during WWII. 

The Queensland State Government committed $1.3 million to stage 1 of the project through the Outback Tourism Infrastructure program, along with a Murweh Shire Council financial contribution of $469,476 – plus many hours in-kind contributions from Council and other advisory organisations, the Mayor said.

The Australian Government committed $1 million to stage 2 of the project through their Building Better Regions Fund program.

“It is great to have the support of state and federal governments for projects like this,” Mayor Radnedge said.

“They are vital to help our history be preserved and, at the same time provide an interesting educational experience for our residents, the youth and the many tourists visiting our wonderful community.”

The WWII Base will preserve and showcase untold stories, covert operations and clandestine efforts of individuals and groups who played pivotal roles during this time in history. The museum also takes a deep dive into the lives of those who worked behind the scenes to shape the course and ultimately, the outcome of the Second World War. 

“Visitors can explore the interactive exhibits that showcase the history in a unique way,” said Mayor Radnedge. 

“The WWII Secret Base is a great experience and I urge everyone to call in and have a look. I am so very proud to see this building formally opened here today.” 

Latest Articles