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Commonwealth inaction threatens Northern Territory heritage houses.

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C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\020813 MR Heritage Houses NT RW.doc 14/08/2002 9:47 AM

KELVIN THOMSONMedia Release from the Shadow Minister for Environment & HeritageCOMMONWEALTH INACTION THREATENSNORTHERN TERRITORY HERITAGE HOUSESThe Howard Government must end speculation over the future of the Myilly Point Heritage Precinctand transfer the title of Burnett House and Mines House, to the NT Government.I visited the Myilly Point Heritage Precinct yesterday and discussed the heritage values of BurnettHouse and Mines House with the National Trust, and am concerned by the failure of theCommonwealth Government to take appropriate action to ensure the future of the important heritageplaces.Built on stilts and designed especially for the tropics, it is one of four remaining pre-world war twohouses designed by talented architect of the time, Beni Burnett. The houses were built for senior publicservants in 1939 and since that time has survived damage from bombing during world war two andcyclone Tracey.The Commonwealth Government has called for expressions of interest from the public for theownership, management and use of the heritage houses.The National Trust of Australia NT has been caring for the houses, and maintaining and developingthem for the last fifteen years. However the Trust now stands at risk of losing them.I believe the Trust has the passion, expertise and credentials to look after the houses, and are the mostappropriate body to ensure these important heritage assets are preserved for future generations. TheCommonwealth Government is being short-sighted and greedy in expecting the Trust to compete onthe open market place for the houses.The Commonwealth Government must transfer the title of the houses in question to the NorthernTerritory Government, who can then lease the houses to the Trust. This will ensure the houses areretained and maintained to ensure access by all Australians for their pleasure and enlightenment.For Further Information: Kelvin Thomson MP Mobile: 0419 594882Gavan O’Neill Phone: 03 9350 5777 Mobile: 0417 118146 Wednesday, 14 August 2002