William the Wombat to put town on map
A TINY outback community is hoping the arrival of a giant wombat will reinvigorate the economy and build hope for the future.
William the Wombat is a two metre high and three-and-a-half metre long recreation of the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed variety.
He was created in Brisbane and made a pit stop to Toowoomba yesterday enroute to its new home, west of the city, at Thallon.
William's creator Natureworks' David Joffe said the plan was to develop an icon for Thallon, because it was one of the original habitats for the northern hairy-nosed wombat.
"But over the last 60 to 100 years, the animal has actually become extinct in that area," he said.
There are now just 250 remaining, 240 at Epping Forest National Park near Clermont and 10 at Richard Underwood Nature Refuge near St George.
Thallon came up with the idea to create William after a community meeting in 2015 to reinvigorate the community after years of drought, loss of services and population decline.
The Wombat Foundation is dedicated to conserving the breed and sponsored the project to build William.
"The town of Thallon is hoping it can put this little tiny town on the map," Mr Joffe said.
William is expected to arrive in Thallon tomorrow morning where he will be placed in a public park.
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