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Twentieth century Queensland architecture rich in heritage value

Embargo: 6 December 1994

Sixty-four twentieth century Queensland buildings added to the Interim List of the Register of the National Estate today proves age is not a compulsory requirement for heritage listing.

Senator John Faulkner, Minister for Environment, Sport and Territories welcomed the decision by the Australian Heritage Commission, which compiles the national list of natural and cultural heritage places.

"I congratulate the Commission on its listing of these valuable places," he said.

"People see the word 'heritage' and tend to think of cathedrals and old mansions. But our heritage is formed of examples of places of much more recent history. The buildings which have been listed today include court houses, government buildings, a swimming pool and even a car park."

To Queenslanders in particular, inclusion of the buildings on the list recognises their role in the physical, aesthetic, historical and cultural development of the 'sunshine state'.

The 64 buildings are examples of the architectural styles and movements which developed in Queensland between the late 1890s and the 1960s. They were selected primarily for their architectural significance, innovation or excellence.

Domestic, commercial and public works of prominent Queensland architects are amongst those interim listed. They include Robin Dodds at the turn of the century; the Queensland government architects A. B. Brady and T. Pye practicing before and during the war years; T. Hall and C. Fulton who promoted the modern idiom, and James Birrell in the 1950s and 60s.

The AMLF Warehouse in Teneriffe (1912), by architect R.S. Dodds, the Mackay Courthouse (1933), and the Hartley Teakle building (1966) at the University of Queensland by James Birrell are some of the well-known buildings to be added to the list.

According to architect James Birrell inclusion on the Interim List of the Register of the National Estate can only have positive benefits. He is delighted his Brisbane City Car Park and Hartley Teakle building have achieved heritage status.

Birrell says it is about time the value of twentieth century architecture was recognised. As for the sunshine state, he said, "Queensland had great difficulty developing contemporary architectural expression and it is important to preserve what emerged from that". He feels heritage listing of his and his contemporaries' work will change the way not only Queenslanders, but all Australians will perceive the buildings.

For further information:

Senator Faulkner's Office, Carolyn Betts: (06) 277 7640

Australian Heritage Commission, Juliet Ramsay: (06) 271 2183.