Update Butter Factory Fire

Published on 04 April 2018

The Busselton Museum Old Butter Factory is currently closed due to a fire which broke out on the building’s second storey on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 March.

A preliminary assessment of the site indicates the damage bill to the building may be in the range of $400,000. The cost of these repairs will be covered by insurance. At this point in time access to the building is very restricted and the extent to which museum artefacts have been damaged or completely destroyed, cannot be ascertained.

Over the ensuing days and weeks the City will work with museum board and volunteers as well as the members of the Busselton Pottery Club who share the Butter Factory premises, to progress a schedule of works aimed at reopening the building as soon as possible. However, at this point in time the single most important objective is to ensure the building is safe and this includes assessing the risk of asbestos contamination and taking appropriate remedial action.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said Council shared the upset of museum personnel and the broader community and would do all it could to progress repair work and ensure the building was operational in the shortest possible timeframe.

“We’re obviously saddened by the prospect of many items of historical significance having been destroyed or irreparably damaged in the blaze. Once the building has been made safe and a thorough clean-up can commence, we’ll have a much better understanding of the extent of the loss. Thankfully, however, there has been minimal damage on the ground floor and important records and archives were not lost in the fire.”

Mayor Grant Henley expressed his thanks to emergency response personnel who attended the incident. “I want to acknowledge the fine effort of members of the Busselton and Dunsborough Volunteer Fire Rescue, Bunbury Career Firefighters, and DFES personnel who worked hard to contain the blaze,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have such dedicated volunteer and professional fire-fighting services operating in our region.”

For their own safety members of the public are asked to stay away from the building including museum grounds, until such time as it is officially reopened.
Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 1 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2017): Community – A community with access to a range of cultural and arts, social and recreational facilities and experiences.

Ends.   Media enquiries can be directed to media@busselton.wa.gov.au