The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Federal Budget delivers $1.5 million for Port Arthur historic site
19 May 2014
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The Federal Budget has delivered on the Abbott Government's election commitment to provide $1.5 million for much needed restoration work at the Port Arthur Penitentiary building.
"The Penitentiary building at Port Arthur is perhaps one of Australia's most recognised convict buildings," said Minister Hunt.
"The Penitentiary building is of outstanding heritage value to the nation and represents our dark and tragic convict past. The building stands at the heart of the World Heritage listed Port Arthur Historic Site.
"This year's Budget ensures this remarkable building will continue to tell its stories to generations of Australians to come."
Scheduled to be completed by December 2014, the work will stabilise the existing structure of the building and provide the foundations for new internal walkways that will invigorate the visitor's experience of the place.
The new internal walkways will recreate the corridors and pathways of the original Penitentiary building allowing people to walk in the footsteps of its convict inmates.
It is expected the stabilisation work will be effective for up to 100 years, ensuring one of Tasmania's most popular tourist sites continues to attract visitors to the region.
Minister Hunt and Federal Member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson today visited the Port Arthur site to discuss the Government's important funding commitment.
"As the major employer on the Tasman Peninsula, improving the visitor's experience and increasing visitor numbers to the Port Arthur historic site is vital to the local economy," said Mr Hutchinson.
"It's great the Australian Government is providing tangible support to an icon of Australia's convict history that provides real economic benefit to the local community."
Estimates place the value of the site in excess of $30 million per annum, with $15 million in wages and over 220 jobs.