The Australian Government, in partnership with state and territory governments, is preparing a nomination for World Heritage listing of 11 of Australia's convict sites, including the historic Fremantle Prison site which is now a museum.Minister for the environment and heritage, senator Ian Campbell said the 11 convict sites were an exceptional example of the global story of forced migration.Senator Campbell made today's announcement with the New South Wales Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, Tasmanian Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment, Paula Wreidt, Norfolk Island Chief Minister, David Buffet and Western Australian Minister for Housing and Works, Michelle Roberts."The convict sites tell the unique story of the exile of convicts from one side of the world to another and their critical role in developing the economy and cultural life of a new nation," Senator Campbell said."While there are many dark stories from the convict settlements, they've also left a positive legacy such as new experiments in penal reform and rehabilitation and opportunities for convicts to build a new life."The Australian Government's nomination of these 11 sites shows the importance Australians put on their convict past and its physical legacy. They are worthy of a place on the world's premier heritage list."The 11 sites expected to be collectively nominated for the World Heritage List are:New South Wales: Old Government House and part of the Domain (Parramatta), Hyde Park Barracks (Sydney), Cockatoo Island Convict Site (Sydney) and Old Great North Road Precinct (near Wiseman's Ferry).Norfolk Island: Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area.Tasmania: Port Arthur Historic Site, Cascades Female Factory Historic Site (Hobart), Darlington Probation Station (Maria Island), Coal Mines Historic Site (via Premadeyna) and Brickendon and Woolmers Estates (near Longford).Western Australia: Fremantle Prison.Senator Campbell today thanked his colleagues in Norfolk Island, Tasmania, Western Australia and New South Wales for the roles they are playing in ensuring the World Heritage nomination has every chance of success.Minister Sartor said the World Heritage nomination was particularly relevant for Australia's first colony, NSW, where the nation's convict system began."The convict system left an indelible mark on Sydney and is an integral part of our nation's story that deserves international recognition," Mr Sartor said."Hyde Park Barracks on Macquarie Street was designed and built by convicts and used to accommodate prisoners undergoing reform through work on public projects. Convict labour also created a magnificent example of colonial engineering in the Great North Road, and grew the crops in Parramatta Domain which helped save the settlement from starvation."Norfolk Island Chief Minister David Buffet said the Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area was the most intact cultural landscape from the convict era surviving the world today."Convicts transported to Norfolk Island faced some of the harshest regimes of punishment, but for short periods it was also a place of enlightened experiments of penal reform. This is one of the few places in the world that evokes such a powerful sense of the lives of convicts," Mr Buffet said.Minister Wriedt said Tasmania's convict heritage is an outstanding part of the rich heritage of the state."The Tasmanian sites show the diverse systems for managing convicts in Australia - such as the system of assigning convict labour to free settlers, a probation system where convicts moved through stages of punishment from 'hard labour' to more humane forms of work," Minister Wriedt said.Minister Roberts said the WA State Government has strongly supported the nomination of Fremantle Prison for inscription on the World Heritage List as part of a serial listing of Australian convict sites."Featuring the largest and most intact convict-built cell range in the nation, Fremantle Prison was the last convict establishment constructed in Australia", Minister Roberts said."Fremantle Prison marks the place where the practice of forced migration through transportation ceased with the arrival of the convict ship Hougoumont in January 1868, and is an essential part of the Australian convict story."The nomination will be submitted to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in mid 2007 and processed as part of the 2008 UNESCO cycle.The sites were selected after extensive consultations with heritage experts in Australia and overseas.Australian convict sites nominated for World Heritage listing Australian convict sites nominated for World Heritage Listing:
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