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Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
16 July 2004
The only recorded dinosaur stampede on Earth is the first place with natural heritage values to be included on Australia's new National Heritage List, the incoming Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator Ian Campbell, announced today.
Senator Campbell said the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument, at Lark Quarry near Winton in Queensland's west, would join the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape in Victoria's south-west and the Royal Exhibition Building National Historic Place, Melbourne as the first three places on the list of outstanding national places.
"Around 95 million years ago at the place we now know as Lark Quarry, a large herd of small dinosaurs gathered on the banks of a forested lake to drink," Senator Campbell said.
"They were being stalked by a much larger dinosaur and when the herd realised this, the animals panicked, stampeding across the lake's muddy flats.
"We are fortunate today to have a record of their terrified flight cast in more than 4000 fossilised footprints.
"While this event in itself is an important part of this country's history, it also tells us much about the nature of our continent at the time.
"It was not yet our wide brown land. It was an area of swamps, rivers and lush lowland forest and over time became a much drier landscape of spinifex and rocky escarpments.
"This is an important record in the evolution of a landscape that today resonates so strongly with us and defines so much of who we are.
"It is because of this that listing this place and its story, and providing it with proactive protection, is such an important step.
"These places are important inclusions on the new National Heritage List which will grow to include the outstanding natural, cultural and Indigenous places and stories that make the country distinctively Australian," he said.
"New laws and a new system of management, forged in consultation and partnership with the owners and managers of these places, will ensure that they endure."
Senator Campbell said nominations included the Sydney Opera House, South Australia's Parliament House, the Barlings Beach Aboriginal site in NSW and New Farm Park in Queensland.
The independent advisory body, the Australian Heritage Council, assesses nominations on these national heritage values.
The Council has 12 months from that time to assess places against stringent criteria before making their report.
Further information on the new National Heritage List and the first listings, can be found at www.deh.gov.au/heritage/whatsnew including high-resolution images suitable for print.