Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 1 May 2003

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 1 May 2003 Distinguished Visitors Madam SPEAKER: While the Minister for Environment and Heritage comes to the podium, I acknowledge the presence in the Speakers Gallery o f the Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, the Honourable Fred Riebeling MLA; the Clerk of the West Australian Parliament, Peter McHugh; Liz Choat the Procedure Office Manager in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria; and, of course, the former member for Macdonnell, Neil Bell. On behalf of all members, I extend to you a warm welcome. Members: Hear, hear! Heritage Declarations in Central Australia Dr BURNS (Environment and Heritage): Madam Speaker, I inform the House of progress in reviewing the Heritage Conservation Act, and protecting the heritage of Central Australia. This government believes that conserving our heritage assets is central to maintaining our Territory identity, sustaining a cohesive society, and supporting our tourism industry. Nowhere in the Territory is this truer than in Central Australia where both indigenous people and pioneers have etched their mark; not only in Territory history but that of our nation. The Alice Springs community has always been interested in conserving and promoting its heritage. Since the 1970s, when people in Alice Springs established the first National Trust branch in the Northern Territory, they have been strong advocates for heritage. Indeed, approximately one- third of all heritage declarations are in places in Central Australia. On the advice of the Heritage Advisory Council, I recently made two new declarations under the Heritage Conservation Act that will add significantly to heritage conservation values in Central Australia. First, the Catholic Church precinct will be afforded protection. The precinct comprises the former Catholic church, the Marist Brother residence and other structures. Its protection is important because, not only is it associated with the establishment and growth of the Catholic Church in Central Australia, but also Alice Springs itself. The precinct contains relatively intact examples of early 1930s and 1940s architecture of a style not seen elsewhere in Central Australia. Second, I have declared Araluen Homestead precinct a heritage place. The early buildings of Araluen are important as historical and social connections with E J Connellan, pioneer aviator and pastoralist. Constructed between 1948 and 1955, the Araluen Homestead, folk cottage and former staff flats and old office stand as a testimony to the grand visions of Connellan. Conserving our heritage requires good laws and we will implement them. Unfortunately, the CLP often did not understand this. The people of Alice Springs will remember the overnight vigils that they had to hold to stop the previous government knocking down the former Alice Springs Gaol. Unfortunately, the Hotel Darwin was not so lucky, and Territorians will long remember the shameful and expedient maimer in which the CLP allowed this beautiful building to be demolished. The government is determined to see the implementation of effective heritage laws. The Heritage Conservation Act is currently undergoing review and I anticipate some significant improvements emerging from the process. The public will certainly be invited to inform the government in this whole process and the best way to take conservation of our heritage forward. However, good laws only do half the job. Laws need to be implemented and this also requires resources. Under the former government, the sole heritage officer position for Central Australia was withdrawn. Today, I am happy to announce that this government will restore heritage services to Alice Springs. As of 1 July, a full-time Senior Heritage Conservation Officer will be located in Alice Springs. This is another important step in securing heritage conservation in Central Australia and dismantling the Berrimah Line. The government provided $70 000 in heritage grants for the conservation of heritage places in Central Australia in the last year. The money went to places within Alice Springs itself, such as the Lutheran Church and the youth centre, as well as to communities like Aputula and Titjakala. This funding supports the growing awareness that small communities outside Alice Springs have about their heritage. For example, the government has worked closely with the Ntaria community to aid its conservation efforts at historic Hermannsburg precinct, and recently provided emergency funding to undertake conservation works on the historic cellar. This work will continue to develop a conservation plan for the precinct and will result in the community being awarded a grant from the Commonwealth Cultural Heritage Projects program of more than $200 000. Madam Speaker, I commend the efforts of the Central Australian community in conserving its heritage. 3937