Records 1986

Australian Bicentennial Authority Northern Territory Commemorative Program

1. Restoration of the Hermannsburg Mission Settlement

This Cabinet Submission sought approval for a project to restore the Hermannsburg Mission Settlement to be included in the Commonwealth/Northern Territory Bicentennial Commemorative Program.  The Hermannsburg mission settlement was noted as being a unique example of mission contact and influence on Aboriginal life in Australia from 1877. Its national importance as a historic site was reflected by its listing in the Register of the National Estate and its classification by the Northern Territory Branch of the National Trust of Australia.  The project aimed to -

  • restore seven historic structures according to approved conservation plans
  • remove two recent structures from the historic site
  • interpret the historic structures and history of the settlement through a series of displays in the restored structures.

Cabinet approved the restoration project as an Australian Bicentennial/ Northern Territory commemorative project for submission to the Commonwealth Government and allocated $500,000 to the project from the Commemorative Program funds.

Read the Cabinet decision - submission No. 4162 and Decision No. 4867 PDF (2.5 MB) of 14 October 1986

2. Ghan Restoration and Alice Springs Telegraph Station Living Heritage Experience

The Submission sought Cabinet approval of two additional projects as recommended by the Northern Territory Council of the Australian Bicentennial Authority for inclusion in the Northern Territory Bicentennial Commemorative Program, being -

  • The Ghan Railway Preservation Project
  • Alice Springs Telegraph Station Living Heritage Experience.

The Ghan Railway Preservation Project involved reconstructing a 30 kilometre section of the old Ghan railway between Macdonnell Siding and Ewaninga Siding, south of Alice Springs.  It was proposed to develop the Macdonnell Siding by establishing at the site a small railway museum, souvenir/coffee shop and restaurant facilities, a barbecue picnic area, and locomotive and rolling stock repair and maintenance sheds.

The proposal to develop the Ewaninga Siding included establishing a barbecue picnic area and camping grounds and operating an historic old Ghan service between the two sidings.

The Alice Springs Telegraph Station project proposed a 24 hour authentic live-in experience for school classes at the old Telegraph Station, with related historical activities. 

Cabinet approved $800,000 for The Ghan Preservation project and $100,000 for the Alice Springs Telegraph Station project as Bicentennial projects for submission to the Commonwealth Government.  In doing so, Cabinet noted that, in addition to meeting the Commonwealth guidelines for Bicentennial Commemorative Programs, the Northern Territory Council had taken into account -

  • an equitable regional distribution of projects
  • the interests of all sections of the community including those of Aboriginal people and scope for their participation
  • projects to be broadly consistent with Northern Territory development objectives and priorities
  • each project is to provide something of lasting value as a commemoration of 1988.

Read the Cabinet decision - submission No. 4218 and Decision No. 4931 PDF (4.1 MB) of 14 November 1986

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Last updated: 14 April 2021

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