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

$2 million helps conserve and restore Old Government House

Media release
7 May 2009
PG/264

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Federal Heritage Minister Peter Garrett announced today funding of more than $2 million to support important conservation and restoration work at the National Heritage-listed Old Government House in Parramatta.

"Old Government House is the first site in New South Wales to receive funding support from the $60 million for heritage funding under the Government's Jobs Fund," Mr Garrett said.

"Old Government House has played an important role in the development of our nation. The New South Wales colony was governed from this important place and it was at the heart of the early administration of the Australian convict system.

"This funding will be provided to the National Trust NSW for a series of restoration works at the site including the restoration of Governor Macquarie's office, structural stabilisation, plumbing, painting landscaping and signage.

"Federal funding will allow this important work to be completed in time for the Macquarie's Bicentennial celebrations in 2010, and it will also have an immediate impact on the local economy: 26 short term positions and more than 40 long term positions are expected to be created as a result of this initiative.

"The Australian Government's Jobs Fund is designed to support and create jobs and develop skills that build both community and social infrastructure," Mr Garrett said.

"The $60 million for heritage projects under the Jobs Fund is one of the largest investments in heritage conservation ever to be undertaken in Australia."

"As well as heritage benefits, it will provide employment and economic stimulus, building on the significant economic, social and environmental value of our heritage places," Mr Garrett said.

Old Government House is the oldest surviving public building on the Australian mainland and is also the only early colonial Government House in Australia to have survived relatively intact.

Old Government House is part of the World Heritage nomination of 11 of Australia's Convict Sites. UNESCO is expected to make its decision on the World Heritage nomination in 2010.

Joining Mr Garrett at Old Government House today, National Trust NSW Executive Director, John Neish welcomed the Australian Government's commitment and said they looked forward to working with the Government to create more jobs across the cultural sector and preserve our important Australian heritage for generations to come.

The $60 million for community heritage projects has been developed in consultation with Senator Bob Brown as part of the Government's $42 billion Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan.

For more information on Australia's heritage projects visit www.heritage.gov.au 

Commonwealth of Australia