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Senator the Hon John Faulkner
Cabinet Secretary
Special Minister of State

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

Funding conserves home of Australia's WWII Prime Minister

Joint media release
22 May 2009

More than $550,000 will protect and conserve the historic house in Cottesloe, Western Australia that was home to former Prime Minister John Curtin and his family.

Funding for John Curtin's House was announced today as part of the Australian Government's $650 million Jobs Fund by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, and the Special Minister of State, Senator John Faulkner.

"I am pleased to announce the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) will receive support for conservation work to make this historic place available and accessible for community use," Mr Garrett said.

"Funding will also be used to develop web based education programs and on site interpretation, so visitors can learn more about the man who led Australia through the Second World War."

Announcing the funding on a visit to the historic home, Senator Faulkner said John Curtin is rightly regarded as a great Australian leader.

"John Curtin led this country through some of its darkest days. His unstinting labours during World War II were the final stage of a lifetime of devotion to the Australian nation and the Australian people: to their security, their welfare, their opportunities.

"This ordinary Australian home is part of an extraordinary Australian story. It tells us about the private life of a very public figure.

"This house is a part of our national story. Its preservation will allow many more Australians to know and understand one of our greatest leaders," Senator Faulkner said.

Mr Garrett said the Australian Government investment in the conservation of John Curtin's House will lead to significant employment opportunities in the local building industry.

"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.

"This major investment in Australia's historic, Indigenous and natural heritage will also provide real economic stimulus by focusing on projects that have an immediate employment impact, as well as ongoing economic benefits."

The $650 million Jobs Fund which includes the $60 million for community heritage projects and $40 million for bike paths has been developed in consultation with Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown as part of the agreement in relation to the Government's $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan.

Funding for John Curtin's House is the third heritage project to receive support through the Australian Government's Jobs Fund. Around $2 million for conservation works to Old Government House in Parramatta was recently announced and more than $360,000 has been provided for walking and bike trails at Budj Bim in Victoria, one of the world's oldest known traditional aquaculture systems.

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

Commonwealth of Australia