The Shed celebrates 10 years

IF there was any doubt the Gippsland Vehicle Collection in Maffra is the shire’s biggest non-environment tourism attraction Sunday’s 10 year celebrations clearly dispelled it.

Thousands of motoring enthusiasts and family members packed the Maffra Shed museum and surrounding grounds from early morning until late afternoon.

Event organiser Sue Lawrence was thrilled the hard work of the committee had been so successful.

“I am beyond happy with the result, it’s beyond all my hopes,” she told the Gippsland Times.

The official proceedings began at noon with GVC secretary Peter Quenell explaining how, following the 2004 Grand Prix rally’s visit to Maffra, he, Peter McDermott and Foster Crooke had discussed the hundreds of classic vehicles that had formed the impromptu displays along Johnson St that night. Over a few beers they came up with the idea for a permanent home to display them.

GVC president Duncan Malcolm outlined the progress of the not-for-profit group in its efforts to purchase their home, which Murray Goulburn has leased to them for a peppercorn rent.

Deputy Premier and Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan said the collection provided a significant economic benefit to the Maffra community.

“In April 2004, the decision was made to try and establish a motoring museum for Gippsland,” Mr Ryan said.

“The group signed a lease for this property with Murray Goulburn in December 2004 and the members set about creating a home for what would one day become the Gippsland Vehicle Collection.

“Over the following two-year period, the group raised $80,000 by holding vehicle displays and participating in the Maffra Mardi Gras to transform the facility into the magnificent collection it is today.”

Mr Ryan said the Gippsland Vehicle Collection has showcased between 70 and 120 cars and motorcycles at once and has successfully operated out of the Maffra Shed since its inception in October 2006.

“More than 70,000 visitors have visited the collection since its opening in 2006 and in 2010, it attracted 10,000 visitors in one year for the first time,” Mr Ryan said.

“The majority of vehicles in the collection are privately owned and leased or loaned to the club and this unique element allows the collection to be regularly changed.”