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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3477 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

those within a short distance from Civic, but other sites are in private ownership and are not generally accessible to the public. Many objects are also housed away from their significant sites in art galleries, house museums or public museums.

The program will be developed in the next few months and will consider various options such as developing a heritage trail of Canberra, building on the various walking and touring brochures already available; clearly identifying heritage precincts to visitors, possibly through road signage; providing more information about significant heritage sites on the web; supporting the development of activities which promote awareness of Aboriginal heritage; and developing new ways to promote our rich natural heritage.

In addition, I have made available a further $100,000 per year to the Heritage Unit to support heritage education and promotions and to support Aboriginal heritage. From this additional funding, extra resources will be allocated to the process of ensuring protection of Aboriginal sites and objects in the ACT by their placement on the Heritage Register. A review of heritage legislation will be undertaken to ensure the best level of protection is available for our heritage and that our processes for protection are streamlined. The community will be invited to participate in this review to ensure the best outcome for heritage in the ACT.

A Heritage Advisory Service will be piloted. Its role will be to provide development and refurbishment advice to the owners of heritage sites, and to assist them to design sympathetic adaptations and extensions in accordance with planning guidelines. The 2000 ACT Heritage Festival will build upon the success of this year's festival. It will highlight the Olympic sporting theme and the end of the twentieth century. I would also like to see much more integration with the many national institutions such as Screensound Australia and Old Parliament House, but also not losing the marvellous contribution by local groups conducting many local events.

One major achievement will be the development of a heritage celebration strategy for the ACT. This will be developed by the Government, in conjunction with major stakeholders, to help focus our role in heritage education and promotion. It will also enable us to work towards a comprehensive approach of increasing public awareness and the respectful interpretation of heritage, enhanced cultural heritage in tourism, and support for the heritage industry.

Mr Deputy Speaker, this year's grants program has brought forward a number of interesting and valuable projects that will assist the work of the ACT Government to protect heritage, raise awareness of appreciation, and encourage partnerships between the community and government. The program is the major source of government funding to the community for heritage activity in the ACT. It has had a substantial impact on the preservation, maintenance, and interpretation of major heritage places and objects.

For example, the grant funding to the National Trust in the ACT has seen the development of a high-quality journal which documents the ACT's heritage and is an invaluable resource for our community. Another fine example is Matthew Higgins'

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