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Government to buy into tourist project



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MINISTER FOR TOURISM AND RECREATION

IntlW l&x fI*GOVERNMENT TO BUY INTO TOURIST.PROJECTThe Australian Government will purchase a .25=5 per cent equity- in a company which is establishing a major tourist attraction based on a re-creation of the area around Sydney Cove as it was in 1810, just 22 years after first settlement.The Government will take up the equity in Old Sydney Town Pty. Ltd. with the company’s present shareholders Frank F. Fox Developments' Pty. Ltd. and the Bank of New South Wales. The cost of the Government investment will be about $317,000.The Minister iur Tourism and Recreation, Mr. Frank Stewart, ■ ;who announced the purchase today, said he was also investigating the possibility of a loan to the company of $500,000 to enable the con­struction programme to be accelerated.Mr. Stewart described the venture at Somersby, near Gosford, in New South Wales, as an excellent opportunity.for Aiistralian · ' . · .Government participation in the development of al-tburist project of national significance. .Cabinet last year agreed in principle to equity participation by the Australian Government iri major tourist development projects. . Negotiations for the purchase of the share? began late last year.The Prime Minister’s approval to proceed was given last month."I am confident the project will become a major tourist . attraction of historical and educational value to Australians and ' .visitors alike", Mr. Stewart said. "It will be a focal point for recreation and learning about Australia’s past."The Minister said Old Sydney Town would be of particular value to migrants in acquainting them with Australia’s heritage, It would provide an ideal medium for school children to study the history of our early settlement. ■ .Mr. Stewart said that work was already well advanced on the project, and it is expected that the first stage will be completed by September. The first tourists would start going through the settlement'"' before the end of this year. ' .Old Sydney Town will be officially opened by the Prime■Minister on Australia Day 1975. iii iCanberra A.C.T, 21 April, 1974.

OLD SYDNEY TOWN

b a c k g r o u n d

Old Sydney Town will be a living, full-size reproduction,

complete with streets, buildings, ships and boats, horse-drawn

vehicles, equipment, people, activities and ceremonies, of the

Sydney Cove area about 1810. As far as is known, no other nation

has attempted to evoke in this lively way an exact replica of its .

first settlement.

The location of Old Sydney Town is on a 250 acre site at

Somersby, 45 miles north of Sydney. The "Cove” has already been

simulated, the street layout is complete, the first ships have

been launched, the first vehicles organized, and the first

buildings are under construction. The topographical resemblance

to early Sydney, as portrayed by the artists of the time, is

strikingly evident.

Old Sydney Town will be historically exact. For the

visitor it will be an educational experience - a learning resource

as well as a tourist attraction.

Management, construction and research programmes are well

under way and the project is expected to open its first phase to

the public towards the end of 1974. It will be a multi-million

dollar development.

Assistance and encouragement are coming from industries

and organisations whose history is bound up with the earliest life

of the colony. .

Not the least, in terms of attraction, will be the two

ships now being fitted-off in the Cove. One is "Perseverance” , a

130-tonner built in Sydney in 1807. The other is H„M= Brig.

"Lady Nelson”, so important not only because she was of a unique

maritime design, but because of her great part in early Tasmanian

history. "Lady Nelson” helped in the settlement of both Hobart

and Launceston,

Photographs are attached.

' (Further information may be obtained from the office of

Old Sydney Town Pty. Ltd., 18 Argyle Street, Sydney - phone

241.2929.) .