Australian Heritage Council
Canberra National Heritage Assessment
1 June 2012
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The Australian Heritage Council is today inviting Australians to put forward their views on a possible National Heritage listing for Canberra.
"Born of the utopian ideals of the founders of Australian Federation and grounded in the Griffins' visionary town plan, Canberra has grown to be one of the world's great twentieth century cities," Chair of the Australian Heritage Council, Professor Carmen Lawrence said.
Launching the information paper Celebrating Canberra: Australia's cultural and democratic landscape, Dr Lawrence said that the Council was taking a broad approach to assessing the national heritage values of Canberra as a planned capital.
"A national heritage listing for Canberra would recognise and highlight the city's national heritage and symbolic significance to the nation and ensure any national heritage values are protected for future generations.
"The historic significance of Canberra as the symbol and outcome of Federation, the site of landmark decisions and movements for change and a place of ongoing national commemorations is being considered for national recognition.
"We are also investigating the importance of Canberra's role as an exemplar of twentieth century town planning concepts.
"These range from the new ideal city of the Griffins' outstanding prize-winning design in the 1912 international competition, through successive phases of planning to the modern city expressed in the dispersed ‘new town' pattern encapsulated in the Y-Plan.
"Other considerations are the aesthetic aspects of the designed landscapes that showcase the national capital and the natural hill and mountain settings of the city, which are highly valued by the Canberra community and visitors for their beauty, garden city appeal and national symbolic content.
"The Council also believes that creative and technical achievement in the fields of town planning, urban design and landscape architecture should also be considered and potentially recognised.
"Other important considerations will include the social significance associated with landmark Indigenous rights decisions and places of national commemoration.
"Canberra's association with governors-general and prime ministers, politicians whose election marked milestones in the evolution of Australian democracy, and the people who played a significant role in the planning and development of Canberra will also be considered," Dr Lawrence said.
The Council is undertaking formal consultations with landowners, occupiers and Indigenous people with rights or interests in Canberra, the ACT Government as well as business and industry groups and key community and heritage agencies.
"We are asking the public to provide their views and submissions before the end of June 2012 when the Council will begin work on our assessment report for the federal environment minister," Dr Lawrence said.
For more information on the Canberra heritage assessment, a draft boundary map of the proposed Canberra national heritage area and information on how you can participate in the consultation process, go to http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/ahc/national-assessments/canberra
Media contact DSEWPAC Media 02 6275 9880.