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

5 July 2006

Funding helps restore early Prime Ministers' graves


The Australian Government will provide more than $5,000 to help restore the London graves of two of the nation’s first Prime Ministers, Sir George Reid and Andrew Fisher, Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today.

The funding will be used by the Office of Australian War Graves for the restoration work.

“Both Sir George Reid and Andrew Fisher made a significant contribution to the early development of the Australian nation and its new Federal constitution,” Senator Campbell said.

“The restoration of their graves is important to protect their heritage values, but more importantly to honour the memories of two great Australians.”

Sir George Reid, Australia’s fourth Prime Minister and leader of the Free Trade Party, served his term from 18 August 1904 until 5 July 1905. He was also Australia’s founding High Commissioner in London, serving from 1910 until early 1916. His death in 1918 was mourned by the Australian nation.

More than $1,400 is available for work on Sir George Reid’s grave in London’s Putney Vale Cemetery. This will be used to clean the base of the grave and granite, re-seal the surfaces and repair damaged areas.

Andrew Fisher was Prime Minister for three terms, 1908-09, 1910-13 and 1914-15, also serving as Treasurer during all three terms. He was a founding member of both the Labor Party in Queensland and of the federal parliamentary Labor Party.

“A number of important projects were undertaken during his terms in office, including the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy and the Commonwealth Bank, founding the federal capital of Canberra, and the introduction of maternity allowances,” Senator Campbell said.

“International and imperial relations were also a feature of Andrew Fisher’s governments. His government took office a month after World War I began and directed the early offensive operations carried out in New Guinea. It also sent the first Australian troops to Egypt, from where they were despatched to Gallipoli.

“Andrew Fisher died in 1928 and is buried in Hampstead, London. More than $3,500 will be used to restore the grave, including fixing kerbs, re-laying the paving, and cleaning the area.”

Funding is provided through the Australian Government’s Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons programme.

Media Contacts:
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell's Office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia