Building work at the new Comboyne Museum at Hurrell House has now started on the next phase.
The asbestos has been professionally removed and some of the walls of the old building have been temporarily wrapped in plastic for weather protection. Work on the new roof is due to start this week, weather permitting. New timber cladding work should commence in six weeks or so.
"You may have noticed as you drive past that clearing the grounds of undergrowth by volunteers is proceeding apace, and the place is looking good," said Margot Anderson from the Comboyne Community Association.
In amongst the overgrown forest, volunteers have discovered kiwi fruit vines, macadamia trees, pecan trees and grapefruit, not to mention privet, wild tobacco, bamboo, soda apple, thistle, and blackberries.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has now approved the Development Application to convert the farmhouse into a community facility and museum, and to install the necessary toilets.
"With a lot of Council conditions, it must be added to the original building, which leads us to the 'Loo With A View'. The old farmhouse dunny has been liberated from dark obscurity by the removal of the asbestos walls. We need to keep the dunny functional during the construction works, but right now, it is a bit draughty, and the view works both ways," she said.
The building is an old wooden house built in 1925 for Theodore Thomas Hurrell, whose descendants still live on the plateau.
When restoration is complete, the house will showcase the community's historical collections featuring the dairy and timber industries, within a landscaped garden and picnic area with parking facilities. There will be restored farming equipment, a working-model of a dairy farm, and eventually, a Men's Shed and an artist-in-residence.