After a scenic drive through regional WA, accompanied by the Governor’s favourite tunes, the team were greeted by CEO of Dome Coffees Group, Nigel Oakley. Mr Oakley lead a tour of the 131-year-old flour mill turned hotel.
The three-storey, electrically powered mill was built in 1891 by Frederick Henry Piesse, a merchant, agriculturist and politician. Unfortunately, it fell into disrepair in the 1980s as the building aged and manufacturing interests moved away from the town. In 2008, with the costs of maintenance and growing safety issues growing too great for the town, the Shire of Katanning invited interest from developers. Purchased for just $1, Mr Oakley spent two years turning the neglected heritage site into an inviting and cosy luxury hotel. With the assistance of Fremantle architect Michael Patroni, the industrial feel and heritage features have been retained throughout with no detail going unnoticed.
“Every room that I’ve walked into is fascinating,” the Governor said. “It’s beautiful and truly tells the story of the building and town. A town needs something iconic. This is iconic”
Explore the Premier Mill Hotel for yourself here.
Later in the afternoon the Governor and Ms Annus were met by Bruce Manning GSDC Chair, Natasha Monks GSDC CEO and Liz Guidera President of Shire of Katanning. The group discussed many topics, from tourism in the Great Southern to farming, education and the community based activities Katanning is currently engaged in. The discussion left the Governor invigorated for a second day of engagements.