Feds plough $7.4 mil into regional heritage funding

Staff writers

Federal Minister for Sustainability, Tony Burke has called on councils and historical groups to apply for $7.4 million in grants to be distributed under the the 2012-13 round of the ‘Your Community Heritage’ program intended to better protect significant sites.

The program has previously supported community groups, heritage organisations, historical societies, councils and other government bodies in its 2011-12 funding package intended to preserve community heritage, document community heritage stories as well as honouring eminent Australians.

According to Mr Burke the government will be providing funding of up to $500,000 for individual projects that are successful in applying for the money.

A core purpose of the funding is to show that Australia’s heritage is not just about the “‘big’ heritage places such as those on the World Heritage List” but also includes individual communities in regional Australia, small towns and multicultural communities.

The program’s funding will “help protect and conserve” Australia’s nationally significant historic sites, Mr Burke said.

The identification and showcasing of historical sites to the wider public has become increasingly important to many councils because it helps attract visitors and tourists that may otherwise bypass small towns and regional areas on their travels.

Importantly, the funding scheme will also assist the recovery of historic heritage sites hit by recent natural disasters, honour Australians who have made significant contributions to the nation and initiate celebrations and events to improve community engagement, he said.

“I encourage any groups interested in the protection of our heritage to apply for funding,” Mr Burke said.

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