Local Astronomy Club given keys to new centre

The Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club can now start to move into their new home at the Tamworth Regional Astronomy and Science Centre at Victoria Park in Tamworth.    

Construction of the main building and observatory, funded by a $1.8 million NSW Government grant, are now complete. 

Work continues on the Hewitt Observatory and the Planetarium, funded by a $460,000 Australian Government grant. They are expected to be complete by April 2021.

Tamworth Region Deputy Mayor Phil Betts said that the Astronomy Club will now start to move in their impressive collection of equipment.

“It is a great pleasure to be able to hand over the keys today to the Tamworth Regional Astronomy and Science Centre,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the astronomy club to plan an opening event next year where our community can properly celebrate the opening of Tamworth’s newest tourist attraction.” 

Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson has congratulated the Club on reaching this major milestone in establishing the Tamworth Regional Astronomy and Science Centre.

“This is a fantastic venture and unique to our area. I am looking forward to seeing the venture completed and open for both locals and visitors to the region ‘shoot for the stars’ through this new facility.

“I am proud that the New South Wales government has been able to provide a significant amount of funding for the development of this world-class facility. 

“With our contribution of $1.8 million, we are thrilled to contribute to a new landmark for budding stargazers, provide educational opportunities for students and promote Tamworth across the world for researchers and astronomers,” Mr Anderson said.

Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Australian Government was proud to support new investment in the Tamworth region.

“The city already holds an envious position among local astronomers, hosting some of the largest amateur telescopes in Australia,” Mr Joyce said.

“This new infrastructure will build on that, paving the way for Tamworth as a leader in science and innovation development in the New England.”

Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club Acting President Garry Copper said that they have about 23 small to large telescopes to move to the new centre. 

“The club will now work towards being ready to open the centre next year for public viewing, school visits and research purposes,” said Mr Copper.

“We are looking forward to teaching the public about the interesting world of astronomy and science in our new facility.”

Council gifted the Astro Photography Exhibition to the club for display in the new centre, and the Chris Bowman Minerals and Rocks Collection will also be showcased there. A $30,000 grant from Region Arts NSW funded the printing and display cabinets. 

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