The tragic loss of the Waltzing Matilda Centre in the small western town of Winton was noted in the federal parliament yesterday, coinciding with a visit to the nation’s capital by the mayor of Winton Shire Councilor Butch Lenton.
The Senate resolved to express its concern at the destruction by fire of the Waltzing Matilda Centre on June 18 2015. The Senate resolution also acknowledged the impact of this loss on the people of Winton, and its negative impact on tourism and employment, and offered the people of Winton its understanding and support in light of the loss.
The resolution was moved by Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald who said “The Waltzing Matilda Centre had been one of the nation’s most important cultural heritage facilities”
“I am delighted that the Mayor indicated during his visit that the insurance claim had been paid and that the community was not focused on rebuilding an even bigger and better memorial to Banjo Patterson and his internationally renowned song Waltzing Matilda.”
“The resilience and commitment of the people of Winton reflects the true Aussie spirit that is the very subject of the Waltzing Matilda Centre.”
But a discordant note on the Waltzing Matilda heritage has come with concerns that some heretofore unknown copyright has been claimed over the song which may not permit its use in the future.
“I was pleased that Mayor Lenton had been able to canvass with the Prime Minister the concerns of the people of Winton that this claim may prevent the song being played at the iconic Waltzing Matilda Centre.”