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Launceston Railway Workshops, April 22nd 1999: remarks.

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The Hon Peter McGauran, MP

Minister for the Arts and the Centenary of Federation



Launceston Railway Workshops 

Remarks by the Hon. Peter McGauran 

April 22nd 1999


Thanks John.

I'm delighted to be here this morning at the historic blacksmiths shop, one of the oldest intact buildings on this site, to sign this deed with Mayor John Lees.

Tasmania is renowned for its historical places, for its rich past and its enduring sense of history, which I think has given the island State a touch of magic

And now that sense of history is to be further strengthened through this endeavour.

This project will conserve, interpret and re-use one of the largest industrial heritage sites in Australia.

In fact it will become the only substantially complete industrial heritage site remaining in Tasmania.

These workshops are seen as one of the greatest achievements of the Launceston community.

They represent the pinnacle of the 19th century industrial processes that provided much of the wealth upon which today's Launceston has been founded.

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, by undertaking this mammoth redevelopment project, will be rewarded with more space to use for exhibitions, public programs and support services.

To be completed by November 2001, the project will be a significant event in Tasmania's celebrations of the Centenary of Federation.

This kind of project is important to the centenary because it:

  • captures the public's imagination;
  • it brings history to life; and, most importantly,
  • it actively involves members of the community.

The Commonwealth has committed considerable funds across Australia to infrastructure projects, which will be lasting memorials to our centenary year.

Many of these projects are helping Australians to preserve their heritage.

I'm pleased to say that we have been able to support the redevelopment of the Launceston Railway Workshops through our Federation Cultural and Heritage Projects program.

This was a $70.4m program to provide new cultural facilities and to conserve and restore heritage across Australia.

Six of the 60 projects funded across Australia through the FCHP are in Tasmania.

The deed we will be signing this morning will provide $1 million to the Launceston City Council to undertake part of this redevelopment here at the Railway Workshops.

This grant will fund the development of an interpretive gallery and heritage trail - two critical components of the project.

The gallery will help visitors to understand what they are seeing by presenting the history of the workshops.

The heritage trail will link key features around the State to further enhance the visitor's experience.

This grant is in addition to the $1.5 million for the visitor services element of the redevelopment program announced by the Prime Minister last year.

The need to restore and conserve Tasmania's outstanding built heritage lead to this State receiving more FCHP funding on a per capita basis than other states.

The other FCHP projects include:

  • the Devonport Cultural Centre;
  • the historic Cascades Female Factory;
  • the Tasmanian School of Fine Furniture,
  • Clarendon Homestead; and
  • Woolmers Cultural and Heritage Estate.

The Commonwealth is proud to be supporting the preservation and rejuvenation of Tasmania's cultural heritage.

We are helping to ensure Tasmania remains one of Australia's key tourist destinations and a magnet for future generations of history lovers from around the nation and the world.

It gives me great pleasure to sign the deed which will allow the Commonwealth to provide the funds and for the project to officially start.

Thank you.



jy  1999-08-27  10:30