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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

National Heritage Lising of the Adelaide Park Lands; National Heritage Listing of the Australian Alps; Australian National Academy of Music

Doorstop interview: Adelaide Park Lands
7 November 2008

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GARRETT: Thanks everybody. It's terrific to be here this morning in Adelaide with my federal parliamentary colleague Kate Ellis, with Jay Weatherill, with the Lord Mayor Michael Harbison to announce the inclusion of the Adelaide City Plan and Park Lands on the National Heritage List - the highest level of recognition that can be given to an area in Australia.

It's also today been the case of announcing the inclusion of the Australian Alps, that extraordinary landscape, with its Indigenous and Australian history connections, stretching across three states to be included on the National Heritage List - a recognition that the Australian Alps are deserving of the highest possible identification of their extraordinary national and cultural values; spectacular landscapes; extraordinary history.

For the inclusion of the Adelaide city and park layout to go on to this National Heritage List, is an indication of how important the original vision of Colonel Light was. This was the first planned city of the federation. This was a plan which inspired many others around the country and it's still, I think, for both those who live in South Australia and those who visit, an extraordinary place - a place where you can see vision expressed on the streetscape and in the parklands. And as a consequence I think, this national heritage listing is entirely well deserved. I'd be happy to hand over to those who are standing with me to make some additional comments and then we'll take some questions.

JAY WEATHERILL: Well can I just make a few remarks about the importance of this for South Australia and Adelaide. Increasingly, the success of communities are based on their liveability and the City of Adelaide plan and the parklands are a crucial aspect of the liveability of Adelaide and South Australia. Regions now compete on the attractiveness of their capital cities and this is our great asset, a wonderful asset and this recognition really I suppose enshrines it, protects it but acknowledges the importance of the City of Adelaide plan and the parklands to South Australia's past and future prosperity.

JOURNALIST: Minister (Weatherill), what would it mean for things like building the grandstand in Vic Park?

WEATHERILL: This gives an additional layer of protection. It won't provide barriers to any sensible development. We still have the relevant parklands authorities legislation which governs those sorts of measures. So, all of those protections remain in place. This provides an additional degree of protection but not a barrier to the sensible use of the parklands.

JOURNALIST: So things like the grandstand could still go ahead?

WEATHERILL: Well we've already resolved that issue. That's been an issue that's been resolved. We have people here from the Friends of the Parklands and I think they're very pleased with the security of that settlement.

JOURNALIST: Minister (Garrett), what sort of protection does this actually provide?

GARRETT: It provides the protection of recognition. It's on the National Heritage List. This means that the national environment legislation applies to proposed developments if they are likely to have a significant impact on the values of the listing. Now I don't anticipate that that will often be the case. But it is an additional level of protection. But I think as well as that, inclusion of places on the National Heritage List provides a tremendous road map for the tourism industry. It allows people who are coming to Australia or who are travelling within Australia, to know what are the best places in the country, what are the places which have been looked at, examined and studied and recommended for inclusion. So our National Heritage List is the literal identification of Australia's special, natural, cultural and heritage places.

JOURNALIST: Does this mean any significant development in the parklands will need to be signed off in Canberra?

GARRETT: No, it doesn't mean that - what it means is that if there is to be a development in an area on the National Heritage List, as is already the case - remember that Bondi Beach is on the National Heritage List - then in the event that it is contemplated to have a significant impact on the values of the listing, then the Act may be considered. But it would only be in those circumstances and it's not anticipated in relation to these listings that it would be the case at this point in time.

JOURNALIST: What about for the Australian Alps - how is this going to make any difference?

GARRETT: The listing in the Australian Alps is on public land. It crosses three state borders, the Snowy Mountains region of NSW, the Brindabella Mountains of the ACT and the high country plains of Victoria - 11 natinal parks and reserves, an area which is recognised in our history,- we think of the Man from Snowy River, strong Indigenous connections. Again, this National Heritage Listing provides a sign post that this is an area of real importance for the country. It means that site managers who have national heritage listing work together to ensure that they've got conservation plans in place and that they're really aware of the high values that are there and that they want to make sure that they're well protected for the future.

JOURNALIST: The Australian national academy of music were quoted today in the paper saying that they weren’t sufficiently warned that their funding might be cut and that they might have to close. What's your reaction to the statement they've put out ?

GARRETT: There's been a very clear communication to the academy and the board. We've provided absolute certainty as to what our expectations are. My number one goal is to make sure that we provide the continuity of elite classical music training to those students who need it. That's what the Government's aim is and my expectation is that we will have something further to say about that. We're in discussion with stakeholders. This is a decision that will be seen in time, I'm absolutely confident, to be good for music students not only in Victoria but right around Australia.

JOURNALIST: They seem to imply that they've been caught on the hop a bit - is there any chance of a reprieve?

GARRETT: I've made it very clear in my correspondence to the board that the Government's expectations have been laid out, have been identified and ifthey're unable to meet them, we need to make sure that there's a more effective, better directed way of producing this kind of training for those elite classical musicians. I'm not going back on the decision in any way. We're already in advanced discussions with stakeholders and I expect a good solution to come out of this decision - I think it was the right decision to make.

[ENDS]

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