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

$453,000 heritage investment supports ACT jobs

Media release
6 October 2009

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The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, today announced $453,000 in Australian Government funding for heritage places in the Australian Capital Territory.

Three Namadgi National Park historic huts and the telescope dome on Mt Stromlo, damaged in the 2003 Canberra bushfires, will be among eight ACT heritage sites to receive heritage funding that’s set to generate 66 jobs as part of the Australian Government’s $650 million Jobs Fund.

“The historic Brayshaws Hut, Westerman’s Homestead and Waterhole Hut in Namadgi National Park will receive $68,000 for conservation work. This will help protect them from the increased visitation expected from construction of an interpretative trail which is also heritage funded as part of this project. The trail will comprise a boardwalk with interpretive signage and basic visitor facilities,” Mr Garrett said.

“Within Canberra city itself the historic Calthorpes’ House will receive $90,000 for conservation work. Calthorpes’ House is an important example of a middle-class home in the late 1920s that contains its original furnishings and appliances and gives a wonderful social history of life in the capital,” Mr Garrett said.

Mr Garrett announced a further $27,000 towards restoration of the Reynolds Telescope Dome which was damaged in the 2003 bushfires that swept through Canberra’s western fringe, including the Mt Stromolo observatory.

“The distinctive dome was built in 1929 and housed the Reynolds Reflector Telescope which, until the 1950s, was the largest working telescope in the Southern Hemisphere and an important tool for research into the Magellanic Clouds and photoelectric photometry,” Mr Garrett said. “The telescope and the dome structure survived the devastating fires but unfortunately the dome’s cover cladding was badly burnt. This project will treat the metal, stop the leaks and repaint the dome.”

“All funded projects will provide a range of employment opportunities within the ACT and boost the ACT economy with materials for the construction works to be sourced from local suppliers,” Mr Garrett said.

“These projects clearly demonstrate how the Government’s Jobs Fund is having an immediate impact on local communities by developing skills and improving facilities.”

Of the $650 million Jobs Fund, $60 million was directly available for projects relating to Australia’s historic, Indigenous and natural heritage places.

“This is the largest investment ever made in Australian heritage conservation. It recognises the crucial role that heritage conservation can and does play in stimulating the economic health of communities and in turn, the nation,” Mr Garrett said.

The $60 million for community heritage projects has been developed in consultation with Senator Bob Brown as part of the Australian Government’s Jobs and Training Compact.

The project announcements are part of the second round of the Jobs Fund heritage initiative, with $12.7 million already allocated in round one to more than 30 heritage conservation projects around Australia. Further announcements will be made in the following weeks about other Jobs Fund heritage projects around Australia. A list of projects funded in the ACT follows.

Projects funded in the ACT

ACT Historic Huts Restoration

Rural ACT
Restoration work to huts in the ACT high country and provision of interpretation materials

Ainslie Arts Centre conservation works

Braddon, ACT
Conservation work on the 1927 Ainslie Infants School building, an Art Deco building now the Ainslie Arts Centre

Calthorpe's House conservation works

Red Hill, ACT
Conservation work at Calthorpe's House, an intact middle-class 1920s suburban Canberra House

Gorman House Arts Centre conservation roof works

Braddon, ACT
Restoration work at Gorman House, a 1924 building formerly a hostel for Canberra public servants and now an arts centre

Mt Stromlo Reynolds Telescope Dome Stabilisation

Near Canberra, ACT
Restoration work on the Reynolds telescope dome which was damaged in the 2003 Canberra bushfires

Namadgi National Park Historic Huts Conservation and Interpretive Trail

Namadgi National Park, ACT
Conservation work on three historic huts, and a boardwalk with signage and basic visitor facilities, suitable for wheelchair access

St John's Church Graveyard Conservation

Reid, ACT
Conservation work on the graveyard at the 1845 St John's Church, which predates Canberra

Tuggeranong Homestead De Salis Cemetery Precinct Conservation and Restoration Works

Tuggeranong, ACT
Renovate elements of Tuggeranong Homestead and upgrade tracks from Tharwa Bridge upstream to the historic De Salis Cemetery

Commonwealth of Australia