Page 2039 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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that increasingly more and more people are participating in as we highlight the rich nature and history of the national capital both prior to and after European settlement and also the unique natural heritage of our city, our region and the country it inhabits.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what were some of the highlights of the festival?

MR CORBELL: I was very pleased to participate in two events myself which I would consider to be highlights. The first was the launch of A Labour of Love—Celebrating Landcare in the ACT. My colleague Mr Rattenbury joined me at that event, which was held down at the Tuggeranong homestead; of course a very important heritage site in the Tuggeranong valley and, indeed, for the ACT as a whole. It was a little bit windy and cold on the day, but there was a great turnout from Landcare volunteers across the ACT to celebrate the launch of a book that tells their story of caring for, enhancing and restoring the natural environment of the ACT. I think all members understand the important work undertaken by Landcare groups. I was delighted to launch that book as part of Heritage Week.

I was also able during the week to open “Gudgenby in a box”, the new interpretive display of the old Gudgenby homestead now at the Namadgi National Park visitors centre. This was an initiative of my predecessor, Mr Stanhope, when he was the minister responsible. He was successful in securing funds. I was delighted to open this new display which has the remnants of the 1845 slab hut from Gudgenby interpreted in a new shelter at the Namadgi visitors centre.

This is probably the oldest remnant of a European building in the ACT; in 1845 this hut was first built. The remnants were preserved for many years in private ownership. They were purchased by the government in recent times and, with the help of the Kosciusko Huts Association and the descendants of the people who lived on the Gudgenby property, the hut has been reinterpreted at the visitors centre. I commend it to all members.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, is the heritage festival important in the overall protection of the territory’s heritage assets?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Yes, it is important in the overall protection of the territory’s heritage assets because it highlights the breadth and depth of our heritage in the city—European, Indigenous, natural, even archaeological. It gives us the opportunity to spread that information more broadly and remind Canberrans of why it is so important that we continue to take steps to preserve, protect and inform people about our heritage.

For example, we can focus on the enormous legacy of early European settlement. We can see that at Tidbinbilla, with the restoration work this government has done of the Nil Desperandum homestead and the Rock Valley homestead, which were destroyed in 2003 but have now been restored, rehabilitated and are again available for the

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