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14 October 2009
Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Peter Garrett today announced $3.8 million in funding for 10 projects in Queensland as part of a major economic stimulus push through heritage conservation.
The projects will be funded under the Australian Government's $650 million Jobs Fund, and will create 153 jobs in the state.
"Heritage conservation not only becomes a point of pride among communities, it has a ripple effect in local economies, encouraging job growth, training and tourism opportunities," Mr Garrett said.
"The projects funded today will enhance some of our most prominent heritage icons and protect and rehabilitate some of our lesser known heritage assets.
"Within Mossman Gorge in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area an important project to build an elevated boardwalk will receive $1.16 million and create 20 jobs. The boardwalk will allow people with disabilities to discover the Gorge's rich showcase of primitive plants and animals and important stories of how the Kuku Yalanji people lived off this bounty," Mr Garrett said.
Mr Garrett also announced $424,000 would go towards a project to protect a major tract of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
"This project - aided by Traditional Owners from the Githabul Nation - will rehabilitate 50 hectares of cleared land within the Main Range National Park which is known for housing ground-dwelling birds such as the rare Albert's lyrebird and the endangered eastern bristlebird," Mr Garrett said.
"This Gondwana Indigenous Re-Afforestation Project (GIRAP) is also situated in the headwaters of the Condamine River catchment. The revegetation of the site will also help to improve water quality in this system."
Mr Garrett announced a further Queensland project will direct over $725,000 towards conserving Charters Towers' most photographed building, the 1888 Stock Exchange Arcade.
"Conservation works to make the building water secure, improve tenant facilities and upgrade interpretation will all contribute to attracting more visitors, attracting and retaining commercial tenants and providing facilities for community events," Mr Garrett said.
Member for Leichhardt Jim Turnour has welcomed the announcement of $447,000 for Quetta Memorial Church on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.
Priority conservation works, including restoration work to the bell tower and stained glass, will occur at the Church which was built in 1893 to commemorate the sinking of the Quetta in 1890.
Mr Turnour said, "These are important regional projects that will not only generate local jobs but provide a solid investment in the preservation of our local historic icons."
"They also add another dimension to the tourism experience for visitors to these locations."
"Together, these Queensland projects will provide a range of opportunities for local communities by providing employment including recruitment targeted at local Indigenous people, and will stimulate the economy of local businesses through material purchases and service provision."
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 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. A list of projects funded in Queensland follows.
Restoration of the heritage building at 60 South Street to provide facilities for pre-vocational training
Brennan and Geraghty's Store is a significant example of a late 19th century store with an in-situ collection of merchandise and records dating from the early 20th century.
The project will include much-needed conservation works and an archaeological display area.
Charters Towers, QLD
The Stock Exchange Arcade, constructed in 1888, is emblematic of the importance of the discovery of gold to the development of North Queensland. The project will replace the building's damaged glazed roof and upgrade the historical displays and interpretation.
The James Cook Museum draws about 30,000 visitors a year. It features a cannon and anchor from James Cook's Endeavour. The project will repair the stone boundary wall and restore disabled access facilities.
Rehabilitate 50 hectares of cleared land within the World Heritage listed Main Range National Park, located in the Southern Downs region of Queensland. The project will employ 16 Indigenous Australians with support from the Queensland Government and the Condamine Headwaters Landcare Group Inc.
Lark Quarry Conservation Park preserves the only known fossilised dinosaur stampede on earth and is one of the premier tourist attractions in western Queensland.
This project will increase the toilet capacity of the interpretative facility at Lark Quarry Conservation Park and improve the management of waste on the site.
Thursday Island, QLD
Priority conservation works on the Quetta Memorial Church, with its many plaques to victims of the sinking of the Quetta in 1890, including stained glass restoration, landscaping, and restoration work on the bell tower.
Improve access to and interpretation of the site
Daintree National Park, QLD
Construct a disabled accessible, elevated boardwalk in the Mossman Gorge section of the Daintree National Park, part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Upgrade the Hall - area recently suffering from drought and flood.