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Photographs supplied by Peter Williams

The Palace Building was redeveloped as a memorial to the fifteen backpackers who lost their lives in the Childers Backpacker Fire in 2000. The restored building encompassed a glass memorial wall; a portrait of the victims of the fire; the Childers Regional Art Gallery and the Childers Visitor Information Centre.

On June 23 2000 tragedy struck, when the Palace Backpacker Building (a heritage listed converted 100 year old hotel) was gutted by fire as a result of arson and fifteen backpackers, twelve of them visiting from overseas, were killed. Miraculously another seventy escaped unharmed or with minor ailments such as smoke inhalation.The timber hostel had no smoke detectors or fire alarms. 

Robert Paul Long was arrested for lighting the fire and charged with murder (two counts) and arson (one count). Long stayed at the Palace Hostel until he was apparently evicted for not paying rent. It is alleged that he argued with people at the hostel and on the evening of the fire was seen by one resident shortly before the blaze started. He was later sentenced to life in prison.



Address:72 Churchill Street, Childers, 4660
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -25.236559
Long: 152.278711
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Culture


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:October-2002
Front Inscription


The  Palace Memorial Building 

This building was redeveloped following the tragic fire of
23rd June 2000, in which fifteen backpackers lost their lives. 

The Isis Shire Council gratefully acknowledges the financial
assistance provided by the following governments. 

Australia                Queensland 
Ireland     Britain     Royal Netherlands 

Cr William (Bill) Trevor
Mayor, Isis Shire Council 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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