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

Senator Steve Hutchins
Senator for New South Wales

$360,000 funding restores historic Wilcannia Post Office

Joint media release
19 June 2009

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More than $360,000 in funding will help protect and restore the historic Wilcannia Post Office in western New South Wales.

Announcing the funding today, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett and Duty Senator for Calare, Steve Hutchins, said support for the project is through the Australian Governmentís $650 million Jobs Fund, which includes $60 million to protect and conserve heritage places.

“The historic post office has a long history and a strong connection with the Wilcannia community,” Mr Garrett said.

“Work will be undertaken to restore the historic Wilcannia Post Office and Post Masterís Residence and upgrade the buildings for ongoing community use.

“Activities supported by the funding include renovations to the interior of the post office, installation of a security system and stonework repairs.

“These works will help develop skills in local workers, including Indigenous members of the community involved with the Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation.”

Senator Hutchins welcomed the funding, saying, “As a result of this investment there will be local jobs for local people and at the same time this important piece of local history will be preserved.”

“Located in the centre of town within a precinct comprising a courthouse and other late 19th Century buildings, the Post Office is a major element that contributes to the historic streetscape of central Wilcannia.

“The $60 million set aside for heritage projects under the Jobs Fund is one of the largest investments in heritage conservation ever to be undertaken in Australia. It is designed to support and create jobs and develop skills that build both community and social infrastructure.

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

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.

Funding previously announced for heritage projects includes $2.5 million for four Tasmanian convict sites and more than $550,000 to protect and conserve the Cottesloe home of World War II Prime Minister John Curtin. In addition, $2 million has also been announced for conservation works to Old Government House in Parramatta 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 

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