Gnowangerup giant tractor plans are passed in after tender process

Shannon SmithGreat Southern Herald
An artist’s impression of the five-times-scale Chamberlain tractor concept.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of the five-times-scale Chamberlain tractor concept.

Gnowangerup will no longer be the home of the world’s biggest Chamberlain tractor.

The Gnowangerup Giant Tractor Group announced last week it had decided not to proceed with the Vintage Tractor and Machinery Association of WA (Tracmach) project.

In May last year, the town won the bid for Tracmach’s biggest tractor project, which would have produced an exact 5:1 replica of a Chamberlain model tractor.

The tractor group’s Rebecca O’Meehan said earlier this month the tender process was completed and, after receiving three quotes, group members realised the project would cost a lot more than expected.

“These were estimations, of course, however our committee, in conjunction with the Shire, estimated the complete project would cost around $600,000, including the tractor and the park around it,” she said.

“When the quotes came in for the tractor construct at around $1 million we realised that it would be a significant burden on our community to try to raise this money.

“After much discussion with the Shire, GNP 360 and our group, we had to acknowledge that the project was out of reach for a community in this COVID-19 economy.”

The group had set out applying for funding and increasing awareness of the project, but Ms O’Meehan said COVID-19 had affected the progression of the project and the ability to get grant money.

“It was an incredibly tough decision to make,” she said.

“Community expectations were high and we were really looking forward to seeing the site develop into a tourist attraction that would have a significant positive impact on our town and Shire.

“We also really wanted to help Tracmach see their dream of building a five-times-the-size replica Chamberlain tractor come to life. We were very disappointed to realise that we couldn’t afford the project.”

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