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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

6 October 2005

Recherche Peninsula given National Heritage status - plus further research funding


The north-east peninsula of Recherche Bay in southern Tasmania, visited by the French explorer D’Entrecasteaux in the late 18th century, has been included in the National Heritage List, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today.

He also announced that the Australian Government will contribute up to $30,000 for cooperative archaeological surveys of the area already proposed by the French and Tasmanian Governments.

“The scientific and exploratory expedition, led by Rear Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux, studied Tasmanian Aboriginal society and compiled the best existing documentary evidence of Aboriginal culture before European settlement,” Senator Campbell said.

“During their two visits for several weeks in 1792 and 1793 the explorers also collected natural history specimens, made important scientific observations on the earth’s magnetic field and planted a vegetable garden there.

“I have accepted the Australian Heritage Council’s assessment that the peninsula has National Heritage values under several prescribed criteria.

“In addition, I have extended the area nominated for listing from the high water to the low water mark to take in the beach on the eastern side of the peninsula where it is likely most contact with Aborigines took place.

“Listing of the peninsula will protect its National Heritage values under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. This protection is additional to that offered by the Tasmanian Government under its heritage legislation.

“The Tasmanian Government has provisionally registered an area which may be the ‘garden’ and ‘observatory sites’ on the Tasmanian Heritage Register. Each of these sites includes a surrounding 100m heritage buffer zone. A 100m buffer zone also protects coastal areas, the places most likely to have archaeological evidence of the French visits.

“The Australian Heritage Council has determined that the re-growth forest in the area available to be logged is not directly related to the heritage values of the place because much of it has been disturbed since the French visits by logging, sawmilling, coalmining and wildfire. This means that the selective logging proposed for one third of the listed area, which is mostly regrowth, will not damage the National Heritage values of the place.”

Senator Campbell said National Heritage listing could not prevent the area being logged under the Regional Forest Agreement.

It should be noted there is some evidence that the stones, which have been considered by some to be the border of the D’Entrecasteaux garden, may in fact be the foundations of a dwelling built in much more recent times. Senator Campbell said these matters would be better understood by further research.

The Council would continue its assessment of an additional public nomination for the wider Recherche Bay area. For map details see http://www.deh.gov.au/heritage/national/index.html

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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