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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
27 July 1997
The conservation of Blackall's beloved wool scour is one of 17 heritage projects to share in funding of $481 000 from the National Estate Grants Program.
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says a grant of $33 000 to the Blackall Historical Woolscour Association will be used for urgent restoration work and to improve visitor access.
"The historical wool scour at Blackall in western Queensland was built in 1908, and is probably the only intact steam-driven mechanical scour in Australia.
"The complex evokes a powerful sense of the past and its rural location is unusual in that scours of this type were generally built near major urban centres.
"The cleaning of wool in Australia was originally carried out by washing the sheep until wool scouring began to replace this method in the 1840s.
"Most of the original buildings and equipment remain, and the site's heritage significance was recognised in 1992 when it was listed on the Register of the National Estate.
"I am pleased to announce funding for this project which has such strong support from the local community.
"Other grants will support work to conserve important heritage places such as the Norman Lindsay Gallery in the Blue Mountains and Ayers House, the former home of seven-time South Australian Premier, Sir Henry Ayers.
"A grant of $20 000 will assist the Hobart Hebrew Congregation to carry out urgent conservation work on Australia's oldest synagogue which dates back to 1843.
"With a grant of $32 000, the Australian Council of National Trusts will conduct an audit of 20 Trust properties with a view to improving disability access to facilities."
The National Estate Grants Program is a Commonwealth program which provides financial assistance for projects of national importance which identify, document, conserve or educate people about our National Estate. The program is administered by the Australian Heritage Commission.
A list of the projects announced today is attached.
Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515
Louisa Eastmead (Australian Heritage Commission) 06 217 2113
27 July 1997