The historic Roebourne Gaol will receive a new lease on life after funding for the restoration of its 125-year-old gaoler’s quarters was announced. As part of the State Government’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, the $800,000 project will convert the building for alternative use, with the addition of inclusive access facilities, carpark and new electrical, plumbing and mechanical services to make it suitable for use as office space. Contractor Colgan Industries was awarded the tender and construction will involve the conservation of the external stone walls and outdoor toilet, a new kitchen fit-out and painting of internal walls and ceilings. Heritage Minister David Templeman said the site had a rich and deep cultural history. “A history that is pivotal to the truth-telling of our past and to Western Australia’s path to reconciliation,” he said. “The Roebourne gaoler’s quarters conservation works will complement works already undertaken by the McGowan Government across the precinct and help to preserve and reactivate this significant place for the future.” The gaoler’s quarters building had been used for a variety of purposes including accommodation for the gaolers, police officers and government employees and as an aged-care facility up until 2016. The project aims to revitalise and reactivate the Roebourne Gaol precinct, which dates back to 1887. Lands Minister Tony Buti said he hoped the precinct would contribute to tourism and truth-telling in the area once reactivated. “The gaoler’s quarters stands on the Ngarluma determination area, which represents a key part of our social and judicial history and holds many important stories of people from different Aboriginal nation groups who were incarcerated on the site,” he said. Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said he had advocated for this revitalisation. “While it has a sad and sorry history for the Aboriginal population, it is important that these stories are preserved for future generations to reflect and remember,” he said. The project was originally allocated $450,000 but an additional $300,000 was needed to make the quarters fit for office use. Completion is expected by mid-2022.