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12 October 2009
Federal Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, today announced $12.2 million of federal funding for a raft of heritage conservation projects around Victoria including $2 million for important conservation work at Melbourne's World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
These projects are expected to create around 722 jobs as part of the Australian Government's $650 million Jobs Fund.
"The Royal Exhibition Building is one of Victoria's major tourist attractions with 335,000 visitors over 2007 and 2008. These people visited to gain a greater understanding of the building's importance not only as the site of the first Commonwealth Parliament, but as the only 19th Century grand exhibition building in the world to remain in use for its original purpose - the global sharing of goods, technologies, values and ideas," Mr Garrett said.
"As with many much-loved heritage sites, visitor traffic is taking its toll. It is critical that we act to conserve the high impact areas of the building and ensure it continues to hold its universal values while contributing to the tourism economy."
Victorian Arts Minister Lynne Kosky said the Brumby Labor Government would contribute an additional $1 million towards the conservation work at the Royal Exhibition Buildings.
"The buildings and surrounding Carlton Gardens are truly a legacy of Melbourne and Australian history," Ms Kosky said.
"In 1901, the first Parliament of Australia sat in the Royal Exhibition Buildings which later became the home of the Victorian Parliament for the next 27 years.
"I welcome the commitment pledged today by the Rudd Government and the total funding allocation will secure the Royal Exhibition Buildings for another generation to come."
Mr Garrett said the funding would be put towards ensuring visitor safety with the building floor to be underpinned, floor timbers to be replaced and heavy exterior doors to be automated.
"This project is not only providing far-reaching benefits by preserving the building's National and World Heritage values and in turn attracting tourists, but in immediate terms Melbourne will benefit from new employment and building material supply opportunities," Mr Garrett said.
Mr Garrett also announced over $1 million for conservation work at Barwon Park in Winchelsea, one of the largest and most significant mansions in Victoria's western district.
"This 42-room bluestone building, built in 1868, has potential as a major tourist and function site once critical repairs are carried out to allow upgrade facilities public access," Mr Garrett said.
"It is fitting that the building's history is brought into the spotlight not only for its cultural prominence as a relic of the squattocracy, but for its serious ecological message - rabbits were first released in Australia from here 150 years ago."
Mr Garrett also announced $513,200 to complete structural repairs, develop new interpretation, and preserve heritage values of buildings at the Yarra Valley's Gulf Station.
"Gulf Station was developed in the 1850s and used as a pastoral property for almost 100 years by the Bell family," Mr Garrett said.
"Today, its farm buildings, equipment and household items provide visitors with important messages about self-sufficient farming in the 1800s," he said.
"In a similar vein, $398,567 will go towards revitalising the Bonegilla Migrant Experience Heritage Park at Wodonga to increase the amenities of the site and better reveal the story of the 347,000 migrants who passed through its doors between 1947 and 1971.
"The funding will help the long-term sustainability of the site as a cultural tourism destination through infrastructure work and building protection, ground maintenance, provision of interpretive material and exhibition development."
"Together, these Victorian projects, along with others, will provide long-term employment opportunities and economic stimulus," Mr Garrett said.
Of the $650 million Jobs Fund, $60 million is 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 recognizes 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 Victoria follows.
Painting the flume and waterwheel at Andersons Mill, a heritage site and tourist attraction.
Stormwater harvesting and reuse project.
Restoration and repairs to the 42-room bluestone Barwon Park, one of the largest and most significant mansions in the Western District of Victoria. The work will include upgrading the kitchen to commercial standard to enhance visitor use.
Upgrade the existing Bataluk Cultural Trail
Conserve and interpret Bendigo's heritage listed 1903 tramways depot, including OHS works and improve access for visitors to safely tour through the depot.
Bendigo Tramways operates daily on the streets of Bendigo, and the workshops provide advice and turn out new and rebuild heritage rail equipment for Bendigo, other Australian operators and collectors, and overseas clients.
The project involves employing a full time coordinator who will be responsible for the promotion and long term sustainability of Bonegilla Migrant Centre as cultural tourism destination and ensure appropriate works are undertaken to preserve and enhance the site.
City of Moreland, Victoria
Stabilise the bell tower and provide better access to church
Restoration and repairs to the Court House and the construction of a purpose built, secure and fire resistant archival storage facility
Repairs to homestead
Interpreting the history of Doncaster Hill by construction of soundposts
Renovation of the Dunkeld Museum including: replacement of roof, creating an airlock at the entry, and provision of a tank system
Repair internal plasterwork and paint interior
Restoration to the Elizabeth Austin Homes, including pointing, wall stabilising and roof restoration. To enable the legacy of philanthropist Elizabeth Austin to continue. The 1886 hall and cottages were left as endowment homes for low income older women.
Protect, conserve, restore and interpret the former Ballarat Shire offices
Conservation and renovation work at the Trades Hall
Conservation of the building and installation of atmospheric control
Yarra Glen, Victoria
Repairs to Gulf Station, a historically important, intact early homestead complex constructed in vernacular building styles, and a major reinterpretation program for the homestead and farm surrounds - all part of a larger scheme to reinvigorate the property and enhance its conservation values.
Internal refurbishment and service of septic tank, sewer system? in Historic Walhalla Post Office - to allow occupation
Restoration of the blue stone school building
Restore the rocket shed and install interpretive displays
La Trobe's Cottage is the historic centrepiece of Melbourne's earliest settlement. The project involves essential repairs and provision of interpretive elements as part of a new plan to promote and develop this important heritage site. The project aims to employ students and tradespeople who struggle to find initial employment or provide practice using rare craft skills.
Exterior paint stripping and repainting, brick and stone wall cleaning and roof repairs
Conserve and restore Loveridge Lookout
Building conservation works
Repair of bunker
Repair works at Maryborough Outdoor Pool complex - a significant Art Deco structure.
The Athenaeum, one of Melbourne's oldest buildings, is an example of architecture associated with the Mechanics Institute movement that played a significant role in developing cities in Britain and Australia in the nineteenth century. The works include repair and upgrade to a 1930s lift, the orchestra pit and other facilities.
Installation of window screens printed with interpretive material
Project Summary: Restoration of cottage for meetings, displays and exhibitions
Stonework and window conservation at Newman College, which was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and built between 1916 and 1918.
This is the fourth stage in an ongoing program of restoration works to the façade.
Restoration of the bridge for pedestrian and cycle use
Improve visitor accessibility and interpret the site
Upgrade the fire suppression system for the Royal Exhibition Building, one of only two Australian buildings included in the World Heritage List, and conserve high use and high visibility areas of the building.
St Arnaud, Victoria
Renovation of St Arnaud Museum
Conservation and repair works at the Drill Hall.
East St Kilda, Victoria
Restoration and refurbishment of stone works to an architecturally significant church
Conservation of stained glass windows and restoration of roof of church
Installation of slate roof
Uncovering the over-painted wall murals using trainee conservators
Repair, repainting, conserving vestibule - as part of conservation training for conservators
Conservation works at the Cemetery
Reconstruction of historic railway crane
Conservation of the building, upgrading services and fire safety.
Adaptive reuse will create workshops, retail and studio spaces for artisans and artists in a large heritage building.