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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

3 June 2000

HISTORIC HAND OVER FOR SYDNEY LANDMARK


The Howard Government has commemorated World Environment Day by announcing the permanent conservation of two Sydney heritage sites including Australia's oldest lighthouse.

Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill said the historic Macquarie Lighthouse and Snapper Island would be returned to the community as part of new Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

"The Macquarie Lighthouse is one Australia's most significant public buildings, dating back to the very early days of colonial settlement, while Snapper Island is one of Sydney Harbour's heritage island jewels," Senator Hill said.

"On the eve of celebrations to mark World Environment Day, I'm pleased to announce their permanent conservation with ownership to be transferred to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust."

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust is being established to manage and return Sydney Harbour foreshore sites from the Commonwealth to the public and to protect their natural and heritage values.

"Macquarie Lighthouse was the first lighthouse to be built in Australia and represents the longest continuously running site of a navigational beacon in Australia. It tells a story of the changing living and working conditions of the lighthouse keepers and their families."

"Snapper Island is situated along the Parramatta River. Formerly a rocky outcrop, it was converted in the early 1930s, and developed as a training ground for sea cadets. Today the site is still used by sea cadets and features a maritime museum that is open to the public at weekends by arrangement.

"Macquarie Lighthouse and Snapper Island will be transferred from the Department of Finance and Administration to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust which also has responsibility for Middle Head, Cockatoo Island, Woolwich, Georges Heights and North Head.

"The Commonwealth Government is internationally recognised for its outstanding record in management of heritage properties. An additional $6 million was recently allocated to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust in the Federal Budget to ensure that record is maintained and that each of the properties' environmental and historic values are conserved for future generations," Senator Hill said.

June 3 2000
Media Contact:
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Macquarie Lighthouse Backgrounder

Commonwealth of Australia