Waltzing Matilda museum in Winton razed by fire

A FIRE has destroyed the iconic Waltzing Matilda Centre at Winton in outback Queensland.

Emergency services were alerted to the blaze on Thursday shortly after 2am with crews from Winton and Longreach attending the scene.

Firefighters battled the blaze for more than four hours but could not save the centre.

The tourist destination was built in 1998 following the centenary celebrations for AB "Banjo" Paterson's famous 1895 song Waltzing Matilda.

The centre housed memorabilia, interactive displays and other Australian memorabilia including a First World War exhibition.

Winton mayor Butch Lenton told ABC Radio on Thursday the firefighters fought to save what they could but many historical items were lost in the blaze.

"With the Banjo Room with the war stuff in it, if that there has gone, well, that history will be gone that is for sure," he said.

"You lose a lot of history that you cannot regather.

"Unfortunately it is a bit of a kick in the guts but we will tough it out and keep going with it."

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blaze.


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