26 September 2023

Canberra Lake floats onto heritage list

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Lake Burley Griffin has been added to the Commonwealth Heritage List, gaining formal recognition of its unique and special symbolism for all Australians as the centrepiece of the National Capital.

Welcoming the listing, Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority (NCA), Sally Barnes said the listing also included the Lake’s adjacent lands.

“It was the NCA that nominated the Lake and Adjacent Lands for heritage listing in 2009, and so we are glad our efforts over the years have come into fruition,” Ms Barnes said.

“The listing recognises the significant historic, natural and Indigenous heritage value of Lake Burley Griffin, including Commonwealth and Kings Avenue Bridges, Scrivener Dam and Stirling Park,” she said.

“Lake Burley Griffin is an important landmark and a signature element of Canberra.”

Ms Barnes said the Lake had acted as an important reference point in the construction of Canberra and was “a place of beauty, peace and quiet that provides refuge from the stresses of modern living”.

The CEO said the heritage listing of the Lake and adjacent lands had lent an even deeper meaning to landmarks in the National Capital that had served and delighted generations of Australians.

“They are some of the most iconic threads that form the tapestry of our history and identity as a people and their inclusion in the Commonwealth Heritage List will guarantee they will be conserved and protected for future generations,” she said.

Ms Barnes insisted that the heritage listing would not form an additional layer of red tape, that the same processes would still apply for all licences or applications for works approvals.

“Heritage listing does not preclude development,” she said.

“It does mean that proposals need to consider heritage values and respond in a sympathetic manner.”

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