Collie tourism took another step forward this week when a local firm was awarded the contract to restore WA's oldest and only remaining railway roundhouse.
Collie firm HRE Consulting was appointed to project manage the first stage of conservation works on the historic building after the state government started piecing together a vision to transform the landmark building into a unique tourism attraction.
Funded through the Collie Futures Fund, in partnership with the National Trust of WA, the works aim to prepare the site for future heritage, tourism and commercial development.
Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray welcomed the appointment of HRE Consulting.
"Collie is home to many capable businesses and skilled workers, so I am delighted the contract to manage the restoration and conservation of the Collie Roundhouse has gone to a local firm," he said.
"I look forward to seeing more subcontractors and suppliers engaged throughout this exciting project, as well on other projects as the initiatives funded through the McGowan Government's Collie Futures Fund progress."
The roundhouse and turntable were in operation for more than two decades, and were used to store and maintain the coal industry's steam engines before they were decommissioned in the 1970s because of the rise of more powerful and efficient diesel locomotives.
HRE Consulting partner Julie Hillier, who is one half of the husband-and-wife partnership behind the firm, said she was excited to bring their international experience to the Roundhouse.
"We are both really excited to be able to use our professional skills here locally in such an important and iconic project," she said.
"We are excited about the opportunity within the project for local skills and talents to be utilised and to really energise the Collie Community around the project."
Mrs Hillier and her husband Karl have more than 20 years' experience in their fields and have worked on projects such as the Optus Stadium Bridge in Perth and co-facilitating programs with Stanford University.
The Roundhouse is WA's only remaining electrically articulated timber and metal 100-foot turntable.