Australian Heritage Council
Ground breaking meeting for Canberra National Heritage Assessment
8 December 2011
The Australian Heritage Council and the ACT Heritage Council met in Canberra today to discuss the assessment of Canberra for National Heritage listing.
Chair of the Australian Heritage Council, Professor Carmen Lawrence said the members of the Council were delighted to be able to meet for the first time with the ACT Heritage Council.
“While the Australian Heritage Council is responsible for carrying out Canberra’s national heritage assessment, it is important that the two heritage councils actively engage with each other on this important assessment and build a supportive and productive relationship,” Professor Lawrence said.
“The city of Canberra tells us the story of our country’s democracy, spirit, achievements and aspirations. National heritage listing is an opportunity to give this remarkable city Australia’s highest level of heritage recognition,” Professor Lawrence said.
"The ACT Heritage Council welcomes the National Heritage assessment of Canberra, especially in the lead-up to the centenary in 2013. The planning and development of Canberra is an important national story and these aspects make the city a worthy candidate for National Heritage acknowledgment,” A/g Chair of the ACT Heritage Council Dr Dianne Firth said.
“The Australian Heritage Council has already started work on the assessment looking at potential natural, Indigenous and historic heritage values,” Professor Lawrence said.
“The ACT Heritage Council looks forward to seeing the results of the assessment, and it hopes to contribute in some way to this very worthwhile initiative,” Dr Firth said.
“The assessment will complement the places already on the National Heritage List in Canberra including Old Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial and Memorial Parade, the High Court and National Gallery Precinct, the Australian Academy of Science Building and, as part of the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves listing, Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve,” Professor Lawrence said.
“The Council will focus the current assessment on the national and symbolic importance of Canberra.”
“We are looking at the historic layers of Canberra’s town planning against the backdrop of the inner hills and Lake Burley Griffin. The national heritage importance of Canberra as an exemplar of twentieth century town planning will also be examined.”
“The assessments will also be exploring Canberra’s symbolic and national social importance as the capital of Australia and the centre of Australian democracy.”
“The Council is committed to ensuring the Canberra community is involved in the assessment process and has the opportunity to have their say about the assessment. Today’s meeting is just one of the many different elements of our consultation process for the heritage assessment.
“I encourage the Canberra community to become involved in the assessment process over the next 12 months,” she said.
As part of the consultation process the Council will release a discussion paper in March next year to encourage public engagement and comment.
During 2012 the Council will also undertake formal consultation with landowners, occupiers and Indigenous people with rights or interests in Canberra, business and industry groups and key community and heritage agencies. A public forum is also planned.
For more information on the Canberra heritage assessment go to www.environment.gov.au/heritage/ahc/national-assessments/canberra/
Media contact DSEWPaC Media 02 6275 9880.