TAPPING into Mildura’s war history has the capacity to unlock a new tourism avenue for Sunraysia.
Member for Mildura Ali Cupper has invited Minister for Veterans Shaun Leane and Minister for Tourism Martin Pakula to visit Mildura and discuss funding options for a WWII Aviation Training and Kittyhawk Museum at Mildura Airport.
For three years during World War II, Mildura Aerodrome was base for the Mildura No.2 Operational (Fighter) Training Unit, known as 2OTU. New fighter pilots were trained predominately in P-40 Kittyhawks at the base before heading to the Pacific theatre of war.
Ms Cupper said the Kittyhawk museum was a funding priority for the State Budget and had potential to become a major tourist attraction.
“The plan is for the museum to home artefacts and interactive displays, as well as aircraft from the era including a working Kittyhawk,” Ms Cupper said.
“As well as capitalising on Mildura’s unique position in wartime – and particularly RAAF – history, the museum could be part of a trail with other war history centres including the Lake Boga Catalina Museum and war museum at Nhill.”
Ms Cupper said the museum would create jobs during the construction phase as well as providing both an economic boost through tourism and be an important educational tool.
“The Mildura 2OTU Heritage Inc group has done a terrific job in trying to shine a light on Mildura and Sunraysia’s war history and the Kittyhawk museum would be a great way to honour those brave men and women who were based in Mildura during World War II,” she said.
“I am hoping Mr Leane and Mr Pakula will come to Mildura and get a better insight into the potential of this project.”