World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Sydney Opera House sets sail, World Heritage bid

Sydney Opera House sets sail for World Heritage bid

Sydney’s internationally renowned Opera House has been officially nominated for inclusion on the World Heritage List.

The despatch of the official submission to Paris was announced on the Opera House steps today by Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, NSW Arts Minister Bob Debus, and NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor.

“I believe most Australians share my view that the Opera House is one of the world’s most outstanding buildings deserving a place on the world’s premier heritage list,” Senator Campbell said.

“Since the Opera House was included in the National Heritage List last July, officials from my Department have been working with their counterparts in New South Wales to prepare a comprehensive assessment of its outstanding universal value as part of the rigorous international World Heritage listing process.

“This assessment shows it is clearly a work of architectural and engineering genius that is internationally renowned.”

Senator Campbell thanked his colleagues in New South Wales, Ministers Sartor and Debus, for the critical role they played in ensuring the World Heritage nomination has every chance of success.

Mr Debus said the Sydney Opera House has become a focus for the arts at a national and international level.

“Its stunning emergence on the world stage over the past 30 years underlines its appeal to people across all countries and walks of life,” he said.

“It is Australia’s iconic home of the arts and truly deserving of the highest level of protection possible.”

Mr Sartor said the chances of a World Heritage listing for the Opera House have been significantly boosted with the establishment of a buffer zone around the international icon.

“If listed, the Opera House will become only the second building in Australia to receive formal recognition from World Heritage authorities.

“It is the jewel of our Harbour, and Jørn Utzon’s dazzling design clearly meets the benchmark as a ‘masterpiece of human creative genius’.

“The buffer zone will ensure public views of the Opera House from across Sydney Harbour are preserved, by making it a factor in development decisions.

“A new bilateral agreement between the Iemma Government and the Commonwealth will also streamline the planning approvals process for the site.”

Minister Sartor said the draft buffer zone is currently on exhibition for public comment.

Dane Jørn Utzon started design work on the Opera House in 1957 and construction began in March 1959. It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973.

Mr Utzon was re-engaged as the Sydney Opera House architect in 2002.

A decision on the World Heritage nomination is not expected to be known until the middle of next year when the World Heritage Committee meets.

The first Australian building to be included on the World Heritage List was the Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens in Melbourne in 2004.

The official Sydney Opera House World Heritage nomination is available on the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage web site at

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>