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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP
7 November 2006
One of the nation's great iconic sporting venues, Flemington Racecourse has been elevated to the National Heritage List for its role in bringing Australians together for the race that stops the nation.
The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews MP, representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced the listing trackside today.
“For 145 years, through the turn of two centuries, wars and the depression, the Melbourne Cup has been the ‘race that stops the nation.’ Awarding the racecourse Australia’s greatest heritage honour, recognises it as the home of a true national social and cultural tradition,” Mr Andrews said.
“Each year, on the first Tuesday of November millions of eyes are on Flemington. It is estimated that around 700 million people watch the Cup on television throughout 170 countries and millions more tune in via the radio or Internet.
“Whether we are lucky enough to watch the race in person, or watch it screened in offices, public squares and other race tracks around the country, one thing is certain: the Melbourne Cup holds us all spellbound.”
Senator Campbell said Flemington Racecourse became the 34th place on the National Heritage List, joining the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australian War Memorial and Port Arthur as places of outstanding heritage significance.
“I have included Flemington racecourse on our pre-eminent heritage list for its outstanding social and cultural values to the nation,” Senator Campbell said.
“The magic of the Melbourne Cup extends beyond the race itself - it’s an entire day of colour, glamour, fashion, excitement and social events.”
The Chair of the Victoria Racing Club, Mr Rod Fitzroy, said the listing helped take Australia’s unique and diverse heritage to an international audience.
“The eyes of the world are on our nation today, such is the attraction of this great Australian icon. The listing reflects the important role Flemington and the Melbourne Cup carnival plays in the very fabric of our society,” Mr Fitzroy said.
For more information www.heritage.gov.au
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell’s office)02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902
Sarah Casey (Mr Andrews office) 0434 563 589 or 02 6277 7320