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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Jobs Fund boost for our first National Heritage listed place

Media release
29 April 2009
PG/259

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Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape - the first place included in Australia's National Heritage List - will be the first place to receive part of the $60 million in heritage funding under the Government's Jobs Fund, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, said today.

Visiting Budj Bim in South-Western Victoria, Mr Garrett said the Government's $60 million investment in Australia's historic, Indigenous and natural heritage will provide real economic stimulus by focusing on projects that have an immediate employment impact, as well as ongoing economic benefits.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that in recognition of Budj Bim's remarkable cultural and heritage value, today it racks up another ‘first’ with just over $360,000 to be provided to the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners and the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporations for a new and exciting project - the Budj Bim Tracks,” Mr Garrett said.

“This is a project that is ready to begin immediately and will create jobs for the community - both now and into the future. It is a prime example of the types of investment in our heritage places and in our communities that the Government will make with this $60 million fund,” Mr Garrett siad.

The Budj Bim Tracks project will allow people to bushwalk or bike ride from the Mount Eccles Visitor Centre through Allambie, Lake Condah and return and will include track construction and improvement, and the development of interpretation and directional signage.

“The new construction work is expected to support local business, support jobs in the area, and also provide for future employment opportunities through increased tourism, particularly for local Gunditjmara people.

“The story of Budj Bim and the Gunditjmara people who live in the region are intimately linked to the volcanic eruption of Mount Eccles around 30,000 years ago. The Gunditjmara people took advantage of the changing environment to develop the landscape into an ingenious system of channels, fishtraps and weirs, providing the basis for one of the world's oldest known aquaculture systems and one of Australia's earliest settled societies.

“Thousands of years later, this forward-thinking Aboriginal community continues to take advantage of the environment and heritage value of this unique landscape to provide economic growth in this part of Australia.”

Budj Bim was included in Australia's National Heritage List - which recognises and protects our most valued natural, Indigenous and historic heritage places on 20 July 2004.

The $60 million for community heritage projects has been developedin consultation with Senator Bob Brown as part of the Government's $42 billion Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan.

For details on the Job Fund visit www.deewr.gov.au 

For more information avout Australia heritage visit www.heritage.gov.au 

Commonwealth of Australia