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2 October 2009
The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, today announced $5.5 million in Australian Government funding for heritage places in Western Australia.
The funding for eight conservation projects is expected to generate 168 jobs across the state as part of the Australian Government’s $650 million Jobs Fund.
“Australia’s heritage places are enduring assets that underpin some of our most important industries. By investing in and conserving these places, we improve their condition, generate jobs and produce wider economic and social benefits.
“An example of this is the Fremantle Prison Main Cell Block Conservation Project which will receive $1.8 million towards restoring and conserving the interior of the Main Cell Block as well as conserving stairways, walkways and rails to improve safety and access for the 175,000 people who visit the heritage site every year,” Mr Garrett said.
“The work will provide immediate employment opportunities as well as securing the long-term financial future of the site.”
Federal Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke MP welcomed the announcement: “The Fremantle Prison is the largest heritage structure in what many regard as the best-preserved 19th Century townscape in Australia. This funding will greatly enhance one of WA’s heritage jewels and major tourist attractions, while providing jobs and experience that will benefit Fremantle in the long-term.”
Mr Garrett said the Government will also provide more than $590,000 to bring visitor facilities within three key areas of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area up to international standard.
“Little Lagoon—which was formerly a salt claypan known by local Aboriginal people as a birrida—is an inland bay of exceptional beauty and ecological significance. Funding will contribute to new facilities, including a carpark, shade shelters, barbecues and interpretive signage to help prevent damage caused by unrestricted vehicle access.
“Funding will also be used to upgrade facilities and access and protect sites at two important walking trails in the Shark Bay area. The first is the highly popular Wulyibidi Yaninyina trail near Monkey Mia which provides visitors with an excellent introduction to the region’s World Heritage values as well as the Aboriginal and European history of the region.
“The second is the Station Life walking trail at Peron Homestead in Francois Peron National Park. The interpreted walk, along with a small visitor centre, gives an insight not only into life at the old station but also into European colonisation and current conservation programs —such as Project Eden’s work to reintroduce locally extinct species.”
Mr Garrett also announced $1.3 million for a restoration project at the historic Breaksea Island Lighthouse near Albany, for work to the 1858 lighthouse and jetty and to the two lighthouse keeper’s cottages.
Mr Garrett said facilities and access upgrades in all West Australian projects would have significant employment benefits in both regional and urban areas.
“This work will create an immediate cash injection to local businesses not only by directly employing people but through the purchase of materials required to complete the project works.
“Long term the work will improve protection of the areas and in turn providing flow-on employment and economic benefits,” Mr Garrett said.
“The $60 million of the Jobs Fund available for projects relating to Australia’s historic, Indigenous and natural heritage places represents the largest ever investment made in Australian heritage conservation. It recognises the crucial role that heritage conservation can and does play in stimulating the economic health of communities and in turn, the nation,” Mr Garrett said.
“It also demonstrates the Government’s commitment towards protecting these heritage places and in doing so, creating jobs and fostering skill development that provide economic stimulus across communities.”
The $60 million for community heritage projects has been developed in consultation with Senator Bob Brown as part of the Australian Government’s Jobs and Training Compact.
The project announcements are part of the second round of the Jobs Fund heritage initiative, with $12.7 million already allocated in round one to more than 30 heritage conservation projects around Australia. Further announcements will be made in the following weeks about other Jobs Fund heritage projects around Australia.
A list of projects funded in Western Australia follows.
Stabilisation of the quarters.
Restoration of the 1858 lighthouse and jetty, the 1889 extensions to the lighthouse, and the two lighthouse keeper’s cottages.
Conservation and restoration of Cummins Theatre.
Repairs to the stonework including cleaning and repairing the stonework, lime washing, repairs to windowsills and the removal of render; reinforce and improve the visibility of the heritage values of the structure through the removal of intrusive accretions and painting of surfaces to match those of the convict era; and conserve steelwork and joinery, including stairways, walkways and rails.
Shire of York, WA
Conservation works to the homestead.
North East of Kalgoorlie, WA
Installation of a storage shed and purchase of minor equipment to facilitate recording of significant sites.
Purnululu National Park World Heritage Area, WA
Installation of large culvert pipes and flood-ways, and resurfacing of six kilometres of road.
Denham and Shark Bay World Heritage Area, WA
Upgrading the walking trails at Monkey Mia and the Peron Heritage Precinct, improving access and facilities, protecting Aboriginal sites and providing interpretive signage, and upgrading the facilities at Little Lagoon including the provision of a car park, shade shelters, barbeques and interpretive signage.