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Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Update

The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Nomination Update

In January I announced that 11 outstanding convict sites across the country had been nominated to the World Heritage List.

The Australian Convict Sites nomination shares with the world the poignant story of the many thousands of people transported to Australia.

The exile of convicts from one side of the world to the other is both a dark and uplifting tale, from isolation and punishment to extraordinary opportunities for starting a new life.

The sites nominated for World Heritage listing – from Tasmania’s Brickendon and Woolmers Estates to Western Australia’s Fremantle Prison - are a reminder of that important chapter in this nation’s history.

The World Heritage Centre has informally indicated our nomination is excellent and will serve as a model nomination for others to follow, which is an exceptional achievement. However, it will not be considered until 2009.

The Centre regularly receives more nominations than it can assess in any given year. It also asked for some additional mapping detail, which has been provided.

While obviously disappointed there’ll be a delay, I’m confident the nomination will be evaluated in 2009 and has a good chance of being formally included in the World Heritage List in 2010.

I look forward to continuing work with the parties to the World Heritage Convention to protect all special places of outstanding universal value.

The Australian Convict Sites are:

* New South Wales: Old Government House and Domain (Parramatta), Hyde Park Barracks (Sydney), Cockatoo Island Convict Site (Sydney) and Old Great North Road (near Wiseman’s Ferry).

* Norfolk Island: Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area.

* Tasmania: Port Arthur Historic Site (Tasman Peninsula), Cascades Female Factory (Hobart), Darlington Probation Station (Maria Island), Coal Mines Historic Site (via Premadeyna) and Brickendon–Woolmers Estates (near Longford).

* Western Australia: Fremantle Prison.

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