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No plans to remove tent embassy.

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Media Release


Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald

Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government




There are no plans, secret or otherwise, to remove the original aboriginal tent embassy, Federal Territories Minister, Senator Ian Macdonald confirmed today.


Responding to media reports of secret plans, Senator Macdonald said that the gazettal of areas within the Parliamentary Triangle, did give effect to long standing laws, but that they were designed to allow the National Capital Authority (NCA) to fulfil its day to day land management responsibilities over the area.


Senator Macdonald said that the gazettal did allow the enforcement of laws that applied to several illegally parked vehicles in the vicinity of the tent embassy. However, the process of the gazettal had been referred to the Heritage Commission by the NCA to ensure that it did not breach the terms of the heritage listing of the original tent embassy site.


“The Heritage Commission were satisfied that both the intent and process of gazetting the land did not damage the intent of the original heritage listing,” said Senator Macdonald.


“This is indicative of the fact that the gazettal was done openly and in consultation with the relevant authorities.”


“This did not apply to the original embassy site, nor was that intended, although it should come as no surprise that I don’t wish to see the so-called embassy’ expanded.”


“This gazettal merely means that this land is treated consistently with areas gazetted by the previous Labor Government.”


Senator Macdonald said he was keen to discuss, with local indigenous representatives, an appropriate way to commemorate the original significance of the site.


“I will confess to being uncertain as the meaning of the current embassy, given that it seems now to be the focal point for issues totally unrelated to the original embassy and the original heritage value.”


“If we can provide an appropriate recognition that all Australians would be proud of, then I would suggest that has more reconciliation value than the current ramshackle area that exists now.”



Monday, January 25, 1999


Media contact: David Moore 0417 774 724