PARLIAMENTARY Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, visited Port Stephens this week to announce that Port Stephens Council will receive $24,000 under the NSW Government’s Heritage Grants Program to fund the services of local heritage advisors and community grants.
The announcement marks this year’s Australian Heritage Festival, which runs nationwide until 21 May.
Mr MacDonald told News Of The Area, “Looking after our Heritage is everyone’s responsibility, and communities play an important role in maintaining and promoting local heritage.”
“Our local heritage speaks to our history, so it is important to protect, promote and celebrate it,”
“There is so much pressure these days to knock down, but there’s so much history, so whilst we can appreciate new areas, we rely on communities to help us maintain historical areas that we can all access,” he said.
These important grants were awarded across Local Government Heritage Advisors and Local Heritage Places streams.
Local Heritage Places enable councils across the state to fund their own small grants and programs to encourage community action on the frontline of heritage protection.
Heritage Advisors assist in funding the services of local heritage advisors who provide expert knowledge to help local communities with issues related to heritage planning and conservation.
Wayne Wallis, General Manager of Port Stephens Council, told News Of The Area, “We will use this money primarily to allow the community to apply for small grants to maintain heritage items.”
“Whether it be an item such as a painting, eaves on a heritage building or historic gates, maintenance on historical items is costly, but this funding can help to alleviate this a little.”
“We encourage everyone to join us in celebrating our local heritage at the upcoming heritage festival, where we will be showcasing some wonderful heritage items and focusing on some local architecture,” he said.
Raymond Terrace ‘King Street Heritage Festival’ will take place on 20 May.
“I encourage people to use this week to explore their local heritage.”
“There are also a number of National Trust NSW Heritage Festival events across the state running until 21 May for people to attend to celebrate our history,” Minister for Heritage Gabrielle Upton said.
For more information about the projects and the NSW Government’s Heritage Grants, see http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Heritage/funding and to find a National Trust NSW Heritage Festival event, go to https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/ahf/nsw.
By Rachael VAUGHAN