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Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

The Manilla Viaduct is an iconic landmark – a one-of-a-kind piece of historic rail infrastructure sits high above the Manilla showground – and it will now be protected with the Minister agreeing to heritage list the very old railway bridge.

The rail line opened in September 1908 and provided an important link to the regional centres surrounding Manilla. Although the line is now closed, it stands as a heritage reminder of years gone by. It is the only curved timber railway viaduct in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a great feature for events like the Manilla Show and Renewable Manilla.

Member for Tamworth and Shadow Minister for Heritage Kevin Anderson said he is celebrating the Manilla Viaduct’s listing of the NSW Heritage register.

“The Manilla Viaduct is an iconic piece of our rail history and the community have been fighting to ensure its preservation for some time and to repurpose the viaduct to become an iconic walkway around the town,” Mr Anderson said.

“The viaduct and rail bridge, opened in 1908, was an integral part of the extension of the rail line to Barraba in the 1900s, which allowed for further expansion of wheat growing operations in our region.

“It’s a part of our history, which is why hard-working Manilla locals have been fighting to save the viaduct, and I updated the Minister on our efforts when I met with her earlier this year.

“I’m so pleased that the Minister has agreed with the community and signed off on the the 500-metre-long structure being listed on the NSW Heritage Register.

“This means the structure has further protections under NSW law and opens opportunities for funding into the future.”

Mr Anderson said he had already had discussions with a local working group who are committed to transforming the structure to a walkway over Manilla.

“We’re staying on this campaign because I know that the viaduct is already a draw for tourists and there is huge opportunity to take advantage of the unique structure and draw tourists to the region.

“There’s still work to do, and I look forward to working with the community to again raise our plans for the viaduct with the government.”

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