Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Post offices placed on Commonwealth Heritage List

Media release
7 November 2011

Minister for Sustainability, Tony Burke, today announced the inclusion of 43 post offices from around Australia on the Commonwealth Heritage List.

Post offices throughout Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia have been placed on the Commonwealth Heritage List.

Mr Burke said the heritage listing recognises the important role that post offices and the postal service have played in the development of towns and communities throughout Australia.

“The local post office has often been the heart of towns and communities, it reflects the history and stories of a region,” Mr Burke said.

“The local post office was often the most prominent and substantial building in town and they quickly became important meeting places.

“Having a post office signalled a town and community’s prosperity and permanency.”

The building of Albury Post Office in 1880 reflects the town’s strategic location on one of the main inland access routes between Melbourne and Sydney.

“By looking at the individual history of our local post office we can see the impact of national historic events for a local community,” Mr Burke said.

“Momentous occasions in Australia’s history such as the gold rush, Federation and advances in telecommunication influenced where, when and how a post office was built.”

The Mudgee Post office was established in 1861 as a result of a gold rush in the region and  is regarded as one of the first major country post offices in New South Wales.

Constructed in 1863, Camperdown Post Office is one of Victoria’s oldest post offices incorporating telegraph facilities.

After federation the Commonwealth also took over the design and construction of post offices. Built in 1901, the South Perth Post Office is likely to be one of the first post offices completed in Western Australia following federation in January 1901.

“The inclusion of these places on the Commonwealth Heritage List will ensure that these important local places are recognised, celebrated and protected for future generations,” Mr Burke said.

For more information go to www.environment.gov.au/heritage.