The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
Press Conference, Melbourne
Sunday, 7 March 2004
David Southwick – Federal Liberal Candidate For Melbourne Ports:
As we all know, Clean Up Australia Day is a very, very important initiative, an initiative which we can all make a difference. Today is something in which it really does show how community and business can come together to make a difference in something like Clean Up Australia Day. We have a company such as Godfreys – staff, friends and family of Godfreys that are going to take part in this very, very important initiative – to clean up a very, very important part of our area and certainly Australia, the St Kilda Beach, the St Kilda Foreshore, which we'll all be taking part very, very shortly.
But before we do that, we have a couple of things to announce today and I'd like to begin by introducing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, to make a very, very important announcement and to also open the initiative for Clean Up Australia Day this morning. Dr David Kemp.
Dr David Kemp - Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
David, thank you very much for inviting me to join you this morning in cleaning up St Kilda Beach, and I'd like to say happy birthday first of all to Mr Godfrey Cohen.
What a wonderful moment this is.
And it must be wonderful for Godfrey to be surrounded by all these other Godfreys.
This is a great tradition that's been established and I want to thank all those of you from Godfreys and friends of Godfrey who are here this morning, including the young members of the family who have come to support Clean Up Australia Day.
Clean Up Australia Day has got a very important message for us. Although it's only one day of the year, Clean Up Australia Day tells us that the environment is everybody's responsibility – all of us can make a difference – and everyday of the year we can all help to keep our environment clean. The environment, a good environment, is everybody's responsibility and today on Clean Up Australia Day, we come together to show that we're all working as a community to make sure that the place we live is as clean and as healthy and in as good a condition as we can possibly make it.
Now this morning, I've got a very special announcement to make. Here in Melbourne, we have a wonderful building that is absolutely unique in the world and that building is the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. It is the largest remaining exhibition hall from the nineteenth century that exists
anywhere in the world and today I'm announcing that I will be referring the Royal Exhibition Building as the first reference to the Australian heritage committee for inscription on the Australian National Register of Historic Places. This register is a new register, it's available under the legislation that we passed in the parliament late last year.
We don't have … we haven't had before anything between World Heritage on the one hand and state and local listings on the other, yet we all know as Australians that places like the Royal Exhibition Building are part of our national story. They are part of the building of the Australian identity that we're so proud of and that identity is what makes us Australians. And if you go to this remarkable building in Carlton, you will find that you are standing in a place where so many important things in Australian history have happened.
It was the first place where the Australian parliament met so it's the birthplace of Australian federation and the Australian parliamentary democracy. It's the first place where the Australian flag was flown. It served as a hospital during the great influenza epidemic of 1919. It's been a migrant reception centre. Hundreds of thousands of young Melbournians have sat exams there. But in world terms, it's significant because it's part of the great economic movement through the nineteenth century, which led to the establishment of the global economy.
So this is a remarkable building and it gives me great pride today to be able to announce that the Royal Exhibition Building is being referred today
to the Australian Heritage Council as the first place for direct assessment for the national list of nationally significant heritage places.
Thank you, Minister, and what a very, very important announcement that was, and again just showing how important things … such buildings like that, we need to really preserve them. And a great announcement here on Clean Up Australia Day.
Now, a couple of things that we need to do – firstly, we're going to have Mr Tom Krulis from Godfreys present a cheque from Godfrey on behalf of Godfrey to Clean Up Australia Day. So could I please give a hand over to Tom Krulis.
Tom Krulis – Godfreys :
Thank you David. Thank you Minister David Kemp, Jeff Floyd from Clean Up Australia, David Southwick, who is hopefully going to be the next federal member for this area, for Melbourne Ports, and which is a beautiful spot here. So I wish David all the best in his political endeavours, and we are certainly very excited to be here on Godfrey's ninety-fifth birthday. And we're very pleased that we're able to be a supporter of Clean Up Australia and be involved. We've had a long association with recycling and reconditioning vacuum cleaners and trying to do our bit to prevent landfill. We figure more than two million vacuum cleaners so far we've prevented
going into landfill in terms of our reconditioning and recycling which this man here, Godfrey, started in 1931 nearly seventy-five years ago, and become a household name.
So we're very proud of Godfrey. We'd like to thank all our employees for coming out this morning and all our wonderful … all employees would like to thank all our family and friends and members for coming out and making it such a great day. And we wish everybody, and thank the minister again and appreciate that special announcement about the Exhibition Building where we've exhibited for many years at home shows, and we love that building and we wish him all the best. And we thank everybody involved in Clean Up Australia and wish … hope it's a great day.
I'd now like to call on Mr Jeff Floyd, director of Clean Up Australia Day, to say a few words.
Jeff Floyd – Clean Up Australia Day:
Thank you very much. Minister, I think we perhaps should call this Godfrey Day perhaps. Clean Up really was a vision of a wonderful Aussie bloke called Ian Kiernan who some years ago came back to Australia and saw the state of Sydney Harbour and said, let's clean it up. I think his real mission was not to clean up Sydney Harbour, I'd suggest it was to change the attitudes and knowledge base of Australians and the next generation so that we won't have those problems in the future. And as the minister
said, we can all make that small difference, so that's what really drove Ian Kiernan and what drives all of us to clean up Australia.
But Ian had another mission and that was to engage corporate Australia. He said if I can't get the big companies involved to back the thing, it's not
going to happen, and I think with a company like Godfreys, which is an icon in itself, and the track record of Godfreys and the reputation of a company like Godfreys backing Clean Up Australia, that is every bit as important as the money.
The money's very important, thank you very, very much to Godfreys and to Godfrey for this generous donation. But even more importantly, it's the corporate backing of this great company. So well done Godfreys and let's go and clean up Australia. Thank you.