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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
23 December 2002
The outstanding universal values of Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens have been highlighted in a World Heritage nomination document being sent to the World Heritage Centre in Paris.
Announcing this latest step in the building's bid for World Heritage listing, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, said "the assessment, carried out by Environment Australia with the cooperation of the Victorian Government, reveals the unequalled international importance of this famous Australian building.
"The nomination document indicates that the building, in its garden setting, is the best surviving example in the world of a Great Hall from a 'Palace of Industry', a reminder of the International Exhibitions movement of the later nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries.
"This movement was enormously important internationally in the growth of world trade and the international economy, showcasing and creating markets for the new technologies of the industrial age.
"Importantly, the building and gardens survive largely unchanged and in excellent condition. They are still used regularly today for trade and cultural exhibitions, consistent with their original purpose.
"If we are successful in this World Heritage listing bid, the building and gardens will join Australia's fourteen outstanding World Heritage places and be the first building in Australia to be World Heritage listed. It will also be Victoria's first World Heritage place.
Dr Kemp thanked the Victorian Government, Heritage Victoria, Museum Victoria, the Melbourne City Council, the National Trust, the Australian Chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites and other important stakeholders for their assistance in preparing the case for nomination.
Under the World Heritage Convention, member countries are permitted to make only one nomination per year. This nomination is on schedule to undergo rigorous international assessment before being considered at a World Heritage Committee meeting around mid 2004.
High-resolution photographs of the building and gardens and a pdf file of the Nomination of Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Melbourne for Inscription on the World Heritage List are available at: www.ea.gov.au/heritage/whatsnew
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400