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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 October 2001

Funds conserve gold rush's architectural wealth

Work to protect the architectural wealth of Australia's first gold rush town, Clunes, Victoria, will enrich the local community and the nation as a whole, the Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said today.

Minister Hill said the $548 000 conservation and refurbishment works to the town's historic heart, funded through the Federation Cultural and Heritage Projects Program, was an investment in the town's future prosperity.

"The improvements to the main street, the Town Hall and Courthouse will strengthen and promote the township as a major tourist destination," he said.

"Clunes is one of the most intact gold rush towns in Australia and plays an important role in the region's tourism.

"The wealth generated during the gold rush period is reflected in the grand public and commercial buildings that stand today complete with original 1860 to 1890 shopfronts and signs. They remain much as they were at the time of Federation.

"This project will bring many benefits to the local community and the nation as a whole - offering greatly improved facilities and services for visitors. They will also present the history of the site in a manner that will educate as well as entertain the many people who visit this picturesque township," Senator Hill said.

He said the Clunes Conservation Project would also bring flow on effects to the community and small businesses in the local region.

The project is one of 60 cultural and heritage projects across the nation to be funded under the $70.4 million Federation Cultural and Heritage Projects Program. The program is part of the Federal Government's commitment to the National Estate and to celebrating the centenary of Australia's Federation in 2001.

3 October 2001

Media Contact:
Megan Bonny (Senator Hill's Office) 0404 823 018

Commonwealth of Australia