By Rowan Forster
The Cockatoo community is striving to build the first ever railway station in Australia using only local, voluntary labour.
All Aboard at Cockatoo consists of a group of ratepayers who are yearning to redevelop the township’s railway building, entirely out of their own pockets.
Proponents have constructed a 2.5 metre model of the historic Cockatoo Station – which will be used as a guide for the facility’s construction.
Brett Barker, a representative of the group, said the building would also be used to house part of the township’s history memorabilia.
“Locals have campaigned for years to have the station built and it is now becoming a reality,” he said.
“The project to rebuild the station is unique as it will be the only station ever built in Australia using local labour and not just built by a rail or government authority.”
The traditional station was replaced in 2009 by another portable heritage-type building, obtained second-hand from another Victorian station.
While the existing building is iconic, it is not representative of the original station that existed in the early 1900s.
The completed building will replicate the model, pending council approval.
Those who wish to volunteer and help build the station were invited to attend the Cockatoo Christmas Twilight Market on 1 December.
Further information about the replica station was discussed.
The event takes place besides the Cockatoo Creek at Alma Treloar Reserve on Pakenham Road.