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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr David Kemp
28 October 2003
Today the independent Australian Heritage Commission added a range of new places, including the Salt Ash Weapons Range, to the Interim List of the Register of the National Estate. The listing is the end result of a cooperative effort by the Commission and the Department of Defence.
The items added to the Interim List are as follows:
The Register of the National Estate is compiled by the Australian Heritage Commission.
The listing does not impact on the operational aspects of RAAF Williamtown and the weapons range and the announcement by Senator Hill yesterday in relation to the Hawk Lead In Fighter is not changed by, or as a consequence, of this listing.
Among other things, the Minister for Defence Senator the Hon. Robert Hill yesterday announced that heritage protection would be included in the Environmental Management Plan for the weapons range.
The Department of Defence will be required to operated in accordance with this management plan to protect and preserve heritage on the site, including the three new items placed on the Interim Register today.
Heritage lists such as the Register of the National Estate are important because they help people find out and appreciate the heritage value of places. They also enable decision-makers, researchers and community groups to take these into account in their decisions. This means that places have a better chance of being conserved.
Under new heritage legislation passed earlier this year Commonwealth agencies will have an obligation to protect and conserve heritage on land owned or occupied by the Commonwealth. This is a considerable advance on the current regime. As a consequence of this strengthened obligation on Commonwealth agencies there will no longer be a requirement for a government agency to seek the advice of the Australian Heritage Commission when developments are proposed in a listed area.