The Oatlands Key

 

Southern Midlands Council, with assistance from the Tasmanian Community Fund, has recently installed a 7-day per week public access system to the Oatlands Gaoler's Residence, Supreme Court House and (soon) to the Oatlands Commissariat.

Visitors and locals can register and obtain a free 'Oatlands Key' from participating businesses displaying the logo, allowing self-guided tours of the buildings.

Southern Midlands Council's Manager Heritage Projects, Brad Williams, says that the system was installed in response to the growing desire for people to access the buildings, which Council has a responsibility to allow as publicly owned assets.

The up-front installation costs of the Oatlands Key system was made possible by the Tasmanian Community Fund. "We have installed secure displays and each building has CCTV. The registration for the key means that if anything does go wrong, we can investigate," explained Mr Williams. "The cost of staffing the buildings regularly is prohibitive, and the Oatlands Key is a response to that challenge".

The feedback from users has been extremely positive. The first print run of 1000 introductory postcards ran out in the first few months, which shows that the system is working.

"With the new Oatlands Heritage Hub initiative just starting, we hope that use of our heritage buildings is maximised and we can add further life to these buildings."

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