Timber industry revival: Pingelly unveils one of the biggest timber buildings in 80 years
A tiny wheatbelt town has received the keys to the biggest civic timber construction in Western Australia in nearly 80 years, as the state's timber industry shows signs of revival.
The Shire of Pingelly decided to build its new Recreation and Cultural Centre entirely out of timber — and the result is without a modern-day rival.
Not since the Merredin aircraft hangars of World War II has any public organisation built with timber on such a large scale.
Shire of Pingelly President Bill Mulroney said he is confident the size and style of the new building, which opens this week, will attract wedding parties and corporate events from Perth.
Mr Mulroney said cost estimates for the timber design of the new building came in around the same as brickwork.
"We decided we would have something really good, and we went for timber … the timber will make it a longer life and make it better looking than bricks and mortar, which can age over years," he said.
"We've organised tours for local groups to get them excited and spread the word throughout the community. Everybody is itching to get up here and enjoy the facility."