World Heritage Convict Sites showcase Tasmania to the world

November 23, 2010

A significant Australian achievement and an historic milestone for Tasmania was celebrated at Parliament House in Hobart last night.

The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, David O’Byrne, hosted a dinner to formally mark the inscription of five Tasmanian convict sites on the World Heritage List on 31 July 2010.

Mr O’Byrne said he was extremely proud that five of the 11 sites that make up the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage listing are from Tasmania.

“This is an opportunity to formally thank those who coordinated and supported the nomination process and worked for many years to have Tasmania included in the inscription,” My O’Byrne said.

The five Tasmanian sites are Brickendon and Woolmers Estates at Longford; the Port Arthur Historic Site and the Coal Mines Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula; the Cascades Female Factory at South Hobart; and the Darlington Probation Station on Maria Island.

“About 75,000 men, women and children served time in Van Diemen’s Land – that’s about 45 per cent of all convicts transported to Australia.”

Mr O’Byrne said World Heritage listing provided the opportunity to further develop heritage tourism as a drawcard for interstate and international visitors.

“It also presents Tasmania with a terrific opportunity to enhance our individual and community knowledge about who we are as a people. It has helped to shape our identity, provide infrastructure we still use, and give us a sense of belonging.

“And I know that the Site Managers of these important places, Heritage Tasmania and Tourism Tasmania are working hard to find the best ways of achieving just that; and also ensuring they are accessible to local visitors too.”

Mr O’Byrne thanked all those people, past and present, who have contributed to the protection, presentation and conservation of these important convict sites; including local government, volunteers, staff and board members.

“The work of the nomination team, Site Managers and senior personnel from Tourism Tasmania, Heritage Tasmania and the Department of Primary, Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has been at the core of this terrific success, and I congratulate each of them wholeheartedly for helping to achieve this great outcome for Tasmania,” Mr O’Byrne said.

The other six Australian sites included in the inscription are:

  • Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (Norfolk Island)
  • Old Government House and Domain (New South Wales)
  • Hyde Park Barracks (New South Wales)
  • Old Great North Road (New South Wales)
  • Cockatoo Island Convict Site (New South Wales)
  • Fremantle Prison (Western Australia).

For further details about the inscription, including the entry on the World Heritage List, visit: http://www.heritage.tas.gov.au/convict_sites.html