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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

9 June 2004

$62,344 for Victoria's shipwrecks

The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced $62,344 to help protect Victoria's shipwrecks and explore their stories.

Dr Kemp announced the funding, from the Historic Shipwrecks Program , to support a number of shipwreck-related projects being coordinated by Heritage Victoria .

"Shipwrecks are a fascinating part of our cultural heritage," Dr Kemp said. "They are like time capsules, holding onto a wealth of information about life in another era.

"Through diligent investigation, we can gradually prise out the secrets and insights that they hold and discover much more about our history - both on the seas and on land."

Dr Kemp said funds would be used to support a mix of projects from direct exploration of recent shipwrecks, to researching artefacts and communicating the findings to the public.

"We have allocated $23,734 to stage one of the Historic Shipwrecks Bottle Reference Collection Project ," Dr Kemp said. "This will be used to research b ottles reclaimed from a number of ships wrecked between 1838 and 1908 including the Thistle (1838), Children (1839), Clonmel (1841), and the Light of the Age (1858).

"Glass and stoneware bottles from historic shipwrecks can give us excellent clues about the date of wrecks. If they were on ships bound for Melbourne, their contents can tell us about the changes in the life of that society - from the Gold Rush period through to the early years of Federation. They are a wonderful resource in much need of investigation."

Dr Kemp said the results of this study would be made available to researchers and the general public through a reference manual and a CD-Rom.

Other work to be supported by the funding included:

"The projects announced today will help Victorians and the broader Australian public to better understand and appreciate the nation's maritime heritage," Dr Kemp said.

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Commonwealth of Australia