Page 2038 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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Canberra—heritage festival

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, I understand that the 2013 heritage festival finished at the end of April. Could you tell the Assembly if it was a success?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. The year’s Canberra and Region Heritage Festival ran over a period of 15 days from 13 to 28 April. There were 120 events during that time. We have yet to receive all the attendance data from all the events but at this point we estimate that up to 5,000 people over the 2012 numbers participated in the various events.

Some of the larger events that saw some good participation included the Tidbinbilla extravaganza, which saw around 7,000 visitors; the way we wore exhibition at The “Q”, 2,500; the Hall and district 1913 event, 2,700 visitors; the National Carillon frolic, around 2,500 people; and the 1913 country fair, around 2,500 people.

These are great outcomes for the heritage festival. Of course, this year’s festival’s theme was “milestones”. This has special significance given that this is our centenary year. This was a great opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate how far the national capital has come in our first century. It also allowed us to showcase the uniqueness of the broader capital region, with many regional partners coming on board to celebrate the festival.

Over 25 events were held across the border in the surrounding region. As well as events in Bungendore and Captains Flat, we saw new regional partners at Bombala, Cooma, Goulburn’s historic Riversdale and Garroorigang homesteads and the Yass and District Museum. They all opened their doors as part of the heritage festival to give the community an opportunity to understand the broader history of the region.

We also saw a number of places where access was given to venues which are not usually open to the public. This includes Cuppacumbalong, Environa, Ginninderra blacksmiths workshop, Elm Grove at Bonner, the Parkwood chapel, Robertsons House at Oaks Estate and Burnima at Bombala.

This really does highlight a great level of access to some historic places right across the ACT as part of the heritage festival. We saw photographic exhibitions, oral histories, archaeological displays, art exhibitions, an organ performance, book launches, Landcare and Parkcare events, and even treasure hunts.

Can I highlight the very important work of a number of friends of groups who are joining the festival this year? This year we saw community-based organisations such as the Friends of Mt Majura, Friends of the Pinnacle, Friends of Aranda Bushland, Friends of Grasslands, the Mt Taylor Parkcare group, Mt Ainslie Weeders and the Geological Society of Australia all participating in the heritage festival, highlighting not just our built environment but also the heritage of our natural environment.

I would like to congratulate them all for their engagement in the heritage festival. This is perhaps an unsung but very valuable community activity in the national capital, one

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