The $34 million dollar Australian Opal Centre project has been given the go-ahead, with the Federal Government committing $9.5 million towards stage one of the Lightning Ridge-based centre.
Proposed as a world hub for ‘opal-related knowledge, training and certification’, it is projected that the Australian Opal Centre will help revolutionise tourism in Lightning Ridge (home of the rare Black Opal), as well as boost Australian Opal education.
The construct will be energy-efficient; a two-storey underground hub. the off-grid building will be designed by world-renowned Australian architects, Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin, which will focus on opal education & training, certification, scientific research, art and culture.
With the first stage of this project costing an estimated $20 million, the Federal Government’s $9.5 million contribution is the lion’s share, with another $7.5 million from the NSW Government, $2 million from Walgett Shire Council, and a further $1 million contributed from community and (opal) industry.
The love of Australia’s unique Opal will be a drawcard for Opal aficionados from all over the world, with the hope of creating new opportunities for the area’s tourism and regional economy.
Fundraising for the final stage will take place, while the first stage is constructed and opened to the public.
Opals Down Under are proud to be an Australian Opal Centre supporter.
For more information on the Australian Opal Centre, click here.