$34m in infrastructure upgrades planned for heritage sites

Infrastructure upgrades worth $33.5 million will be carried out at 23 national and world heritage sites under a $61.7 million environment investment package announced this week.

The package, which is being provided through the Federal Government’s $1 billion Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, also includes $20 million for a “reef builder shellfish restoration program”, and $8.2 million to support Great Barrier Reef projects.

The $33.5 million heritage site upgrades will involve additional co-contributions of at least $16.9 million from states and the Northern Territory and cover 33 projects across 23 sites The heritage upgrades to fund conservation work, infrastructure upgrades

The projects will include:

  • Upgrades to walker accommodation huts on the Tasmanian Wilderness Overland Track;
  • Construction of a new history and interpretation visitor’s centre at the Cascades Female Factory in Hobart;
  • Upgrades to walking tracks in the Gondwana Rainforests in NSW;
  • Conservation and interpretation works for the Fremantle Prison Main Cell Block;
  • A new culture and tourism hub and visitors centre and the development of mountain bike trails and trail-head facilities for the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area;
  • Conservation works, repairs and upgrades at the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct in the NT;
  • Conservation, physical repairs and interpretation at the Moonta Historic Mine Site in South Australia; and
  • New water crossing and track upgrade at Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in Victoria.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the funding would restore and conserve some of Australia’s most iconic natural wonders and heritage sites, providing a vital boost to tourism operators who have been doing it tough as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.