HALLS GAP - Plans of the Australian Wildlife Arts Foundation to build the Wildlife Arts Museum of Australia in the Northern Grampians took a major step forward when the Foundation formally took possession of fifteen hectares of land on the Pomonal - Halls Gap Road.
This land will become the site of the multi-million dollar museum complex and its surrounding botanical gardens.
The Australian Wildlife Arts Foundation's plans include an iconic building design housing multiple galleries, working studios, classrooms, a library, an outdoor amphitheatre and a state of the art conference centre/theatre.
A partnership has been forged with the Architecture Faculty of one of Australia's most prestigious universities to tackle the building and landscape designs and another partnership with the Royal Botanical Gardens to create the surrounding gardens.
"The buildings will be in harmony with our natural surroundings and reflect the beauty of the Grampians," Australian Wildlife Arts Foundation patron, Glenda Lewin said.
"We want visitors to be inspired as they explore the galleries and surrounding wetlands, landscaped native gardens and sculpture."
The previous Northern Grampians Shire Council listed the WAMA development as a strategic project of importance for the region and formal Heads of Agreement were signed with the council of the time.
The current council has also received the proposal and the Foundation is awaiting a formal response.
This agreement would commit the council to providing assistance in the ongoing development of the project.
Foundation Director and WAMA project coordinator, Richard Watson, visited the region on Tuesday and met with council representatives to present the proposal.
He said a positive outcome would bring enormous benefit to the region and the Northern Grampians Shire as a whole.
"Council recognises that the WAMA project will deliver long term economic benefits to the Grampians region both directly and indirectly," Mr Watson said.
"It will increase tourism and further add to the amenities at Halls Gap, consolidating its position as major tourist destination.
"The beauty of this project is it isn't all about the museum, gallery and function centre, it is a very significant tourism project involving a wetlands and Botanic Garden.
"A project like this needs strong community support and we can already see that happening. We just need to continue building on it.
"There now seems to be sincere motivation in wanting this to happen. What started out as an idea has developed into a very serious project."