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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

9 May 2006

$5 million to protect Australia's historic churches


The Australian Government will help protect three churches in Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland with grants totaling $5 million, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell announced.

"Churches and cathedrals have long been an important focus for Australian communities, as centres of worship and community institutions," Senator Campbell said.

"St Patrick's Basilica in Fremantle will receive $1 million to support important restoration projects. St Patrick's has long been a part of Fremantle's vibrant multicultural community, as it was the principal place of worship for Irish migrants settling in Fremantle during the gold rush days of the 19th and 20th centuries and later for Italian and Portuguese migrants who came to Australia after World War II.

"Designed by the noted architect Michael Cavanagh and opened in 1900, St Patrick's Basilica is an excellent example of the Federation Gothic style of architecture. It was the fifth Basilica to be built in Australia and is the only one in Western Australia.

"The Australian Government is also very pleased to provide $2 million toward the major renovation and restoration works currently underway at St Mary's Cathedral in Hobart, Tasmania," Senator Campbell said.

"St Mary's has a long and intriguing history. It was first designed by William Wardell, regarded as one of Australia's finest 19th century architects, yet the building was never fully completed to his specifications, including the spire detailed in the original designs. This funding will help the diocese restore and conserve aspects of the Cathedral."

This funding complements the Prime Minister's April announcement of a further $2 million to assist with the completion of St John's Cathedral in Brisbane.

In addition to grants to protect and conserve Australia's historic Churches, heritage funding will also help commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first European contact with Australia. More than $490,000 has been provided to the Duykfen voyage, of which $245,000 is new funding through the 2006-07 Budget.

The intrepid ship, a replica of the original Duyfken, or 'Little Dove', will stop in 25 ports around Australia while on its nine month voyage, providing opportunities for all Australians to learn more about Australia's coastal and maritime heritage and experience first hand life on board a sixteenth century sailing vessel.

For more information: www.deh.gov.au/about/publications/budget/2006

Media contact:
Marianne McCabe on 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580

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Other 2006-07 Budget media releases

Commonwealth of Australia