Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

$20 million to conserve Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building

Media release
15 May 2012

Melbourne’s iconic Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens will be returned to its former glory with a $20 million injection from the Gillard Government.

Heritage Minister, Tony Burke, said the Government would provide the Victorian Government with $20 million to assist in the protection and promotion of the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

“This magnificent building is a great treasure of international importance. These funds will help Museum Victoria uphold the values that led to the site’s inscription on the World Heritage List,” Mr Burke said.

“The Royal Exhibition Building was built for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition as an opportunity to promote Australia’s technological innovations to the world.

“In 1901 the Royal Exhibition Building hosted the opening of the first Federal Parliament. It is part of our story as a nation and is a special place for Australians.  For that reason alone it is worthy of special care and protection.”

The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004 and is one of the great enduring monuments to the International Exhibition movement, which began in the mid-19th century.

The Government acknowledges the representations of Greens MP, Adam Bandt, in delivering this project.

The Royal Exhibition Building was built in Melbourne's Carlton Gardens during 1879 and 1880 for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. It subsequently hosted Melbourne's second international exhibition, the 1888 Centennial International Exhibition.

Museum Victoria is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Royal Exhibition Building in conjunction with the City of Melbourne which manages the Carlton Gardens.

This funding is part of the Federal Government Budget package.