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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
6 April 2005
The dramatic stories of shipwrecks lying in South Australia's Investigator Strait will be accessible to land-based visitors thanks to funding announced today by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.
Senator Campbell said the Australian Government would contribute $28,637 through its Historic Shipwrecks Programme to upgrade and expand maritime heritage trails on Kangaroo Island and the Lower Yorke Peninsula.
"This funding will enable our state partner, the SA Department for Environment and Heritage, to design and install a total of 20 new interpretive signs along these trails," Senator Campbell said.
"Visitors to these parts of South Australia will be able to go to the coast near individual shipwrecks and actually see the often wild environment in which they came to grief.
"Kangaroo Island and Lower Yorke Peninsula were part of a treacherous maritime highway that settlers to South Australia had to traverse before arriving safely at their destination.
"Through bad luck, bad weather or bad judgement, about 26 vessels and more than 70 lives are believed to have been lost over the past 156 years in the waters between the island and the peninsula.
"These heritage trails will make our history and the experiences of those involved in the wrecks much more vivid for visitors to the area."
Senator Campbell said the upgrade of the heritage trails was one of 40 shipwreck-related projects being funded through the Historic Shipwrecks Programme.
Under this programme, the Australian Government funds its state and territory partners to help protect, preserve, research and inform about some of the nation's 6500 shipwrecks and related materials.
"Every shipwreck is a watery timecapsule with a story waiting to be told," Senator Campbell said.
"Through investigation, research and interpretation we can see into our past and discover more about our history particularly in areas such as trade, defence and migration."
A total of $58,228 will be given to five South Australian shipwreck-related projects as part of the Australian Government programme.
Further information about Australia's Historic Shipwrecks Programme can be found at www.deh.gov.au/heritage/shipwrecks/index.html.
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434