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Media Release
Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage


25 June 2001

Howard Government's 'Shout' for Australia's historic pubs


The importance of hotels as historic landmarks in rural and regional communities has been recognised with the launch of a $5 million Federal grants program aimed at restoring, preserving and maintaining these Australian icons.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, called for applications for the Rural and Regional Historic Hotels Program which will give grants of between $10,000 and $100,000 to help conserve licensed hotels in Australia's rural and regional areas. The program has been developed with the support of the Australian Hotels Association.

"Old pubs or hotels continue to be a focus of community life in small country towns", Sharman Stone said.

"They provide meeting places for voluntary groups, a place to catch up with friends, as well as providing a 'watering' hole and low cost meals to travellers".

"The size and grandeur of our country's old pubs also often serves as a reminder of a bygone age, when 'travelling' salesmen stayed at the local, when wool was 'a pound a pound' and the local town provided every good or service a family could possibly need".

"A lot of the old pubs had verandahs pulled down during another era when planning controls demanded 'cantilevering'".

"As many towns have shrunk, the old pubs have often been left, still significant parts of community life, but in urgent need of some renovating works".

"I encourage local hoteliers to bring forward their ideas for restoration and preservation, to help rejuvenate their pubs with this exciting opportunity".

Applications are invited from owners or lessees of historic hotels that are more than 50 years old or have local historical significance.

A 50% cash or in-kind exchange is expected in a matching contribution. A condition of each grant is that the hotel does not have gaming machines and can be completed within 12 to 18 months.

"The program will fund restoration and preservation works to the historic features or attributes of the hotel where the work will bring tourism and other benefits to the local community", Sharman Stone said.

"Many hotels in small towns, especially those without pokies, find it hard to fund restoration works".

For application information, contact the Heritage Assistance and Projects Section of the Department of the Environment and Heritage on a toll free number, 1800 653 004, fax (02) 6274 2092 or email haps@deh.gov.au.

Detailed information is also available at: www.environment.gov.au/heritage/awhg/grants

Applications close on August 3rd.

For further information contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
June 25th, 2001

Commonwealth of Australia