19 June 2017

Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve included on National Heritage Priority Assessment List

I am delighted to announce, on behalf of the Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, that the Turnbull Government has included the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve and environs on the 2017-18 Priority Assessment List for National Heritage listing.

The Australian Heritage Council will conduct the assessment of the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve and environs.

As part of its assessment, the Council will seek feedback from the public, stakeholders and all affected people with rights or interests, including owners, occupiers and indigenous people.

Consultation, including in relation to the geographical boundary of any National Heritage listed site, is integral. This means that the community will be offered the opportunity to submit that historical parts of Queenscliff should also be considered.

The Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve is of enormous historical value. I want to congratulate the Friends of Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve for nominating this place for the following reasons:

  • For its association with maritime and defence history of Victoria
  • For the architectural significance of the lighthouse and ancillary structures and fitting as an example of early 20th century design
  • For its potential to reveal significant artefactual remains pertaining to the use of the place as a light station and signal stations.

I have long been an advocate for this precinct to receive National Heritage listing. Such recognition would not only provide greater protection of the site but also open up new opportunities for funding to maintain and improve the precinct.

The site was first used in the mid-nineteenth century for the construction of navigational structures to guide vessels through the Port Phillip Heads.

The Point Lonsdale lighthouse was constructed in 1901-02 – other historic structures include the fog horn shed (1884), the rocket shed which contains two rare vertical boilers (1891), the jetty (1890), the scend shed (1941) and signal mast (1951) and the remains of the lighthouse keeper’s quarters (1860).

While Point Lonsdale has always been of strategic defence interest, it was the outbreak of the First World War which prompted the construction of defence structures in the vicinity of the lighthouse. Two search light emplacements, an electric light directing station and engine house were constructed in 1914. Further defence structures were constructed in the Second World War.

I visited the site with the then Environment Minister Greg Hunt in May 2016 and was proud to throw my support behind the push for National Heritage listing.

I strongly believe that the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve and environs would make a worthy addition to the 110 places that already feature on our National Heritage List which includes the Great Ocean Road.

For more information on the places already featured on our National Heritage List visit http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl

For more information on the Finalised Priority Assessment List go to http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/priority-assessment

18 June 2017