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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
26 December 2005
The Melbourne Cricket Ground has been given Australia's highest heritage honour - inclusion on the National Heritage List - in recognition of its outstanding significance to the nation.
Announcing the listing at the MCG today during the Boxing Day Test match, the Treasurer, Peter Costello, said the Australian Heritage Council had assessed the ground as having three key heritage values.
They are its contribution to Australia's cultural history through strong social links for the sporting community; its key role in the development and history of Australia's two most popular spectator sports, cricket and Australian Rules football; and its special association with sportsmen and women who have excelled there.
The MCG embodies Australia's love of sport and its inclusion on the National Heritage List ensures its unique values will be protected for the future.
This is the birthplace of cricket in Australia and Aussie Rules and venue for the 1956 Olympics, but its significance extends far beyond that of a sports stadium - it is an integral part of the fabric of Melbourne and the nation. It is 'the people's ground'.
It is fitting that this place and its spirit are protected for future generations to experience.
Built in 1853, the MCG has developed into one of the biggest, most recognisable and modern sports stadiums in the world.
The inaugural inter-colonial first-class cricket match between Victoria and NSW was played there in 1856 and in 1877 it hosted the first Test match between Australia and England.
Australian Rules was played on the MCG for the first time in 1859. It remains football's symbolic home.
The Australian Heritage Council, the Australian Government's expert advisory body on heritage, has assessed the MCG as having outstanding heritage value to the nation for three of the nine National Heritage criteria listed in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, formally approved the listing.
The MCG joins 21 other places on the list, including the Sydney Opera House, Port Arthur convict site in Tasmania and Melbourne's Exhibition Building, which is also on the World Heritage List.
Jonathan Epstein (Peter Costello's office) 02 6269 0858