30/01/2008 - 11:52

Freo prison nominated for World Heritage List

30/01/2008 - 11:52

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The federal government has nominated Fremantle Prison for a World Heritage listing, along with 10 other convict sites accross Australia.

The federal government has nominated Fremantle Prison for a World Heritage listing, along with 10 other convict sites accross Australia.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, announced the nomination today within the walls of Fremantle Prison, where most of WA's convicts began their life of hard labour.

"These convict sites are a living record of one of the greatest penal experiments in world history - the transportation of more than 166,000 men, women and children to a vast and largely unknown land," Mr Garrett said.

"We are asking UNESCO to recognise the outstanding universal value of these convict sites, just as it has the living culture of the first Australians, in listings such as Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks."

The other nominated 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 and Woolmers Estates (near Longford).

In welcoming the announcement, state heritage minister Michelle Roberts said Fremantle Prison was a priceless part of Western Australia's history and an asset to the state and nation.

In the past 12 months, more than 175,000 people have visited the historic prison, while the government has spent $2 million to restore the western elevation of the main cell block to its original built form.

All sites will be now be examined by UNESCO and after a rigorous assessment process, the World Heritage Committee will make a final decision, expected in mid-2009.

Australia has 17 existing World Heritage sites, ranging from the Great Barrier Reef to the Sydney Opera House.

 

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