Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has reflected on the historical icons in the electorate, as the Heritage Bill 2016 was passed through the Lower House last week.
The Bill modernises earlier legislation, which Ms Sheed noted had not been closely looked at in the last 20 years.
“We have some fabulous buildings on the Victorian Heritage Register, and it is so good to see funding provided to save those buildings of particular historical interest in our regions,” Ms Sheed said.
“Shepparton was built on agriculture. It did not enjoy the great wealth of the gold rushes such as Bendigo, Ballarat and other goldmining areas.
“Shepparton is young, and as such, its heritage sites are much more recent.
“We have the German War Cemetery at Tatura. It was the first foreign war cemetery to be established in Australia by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It provided for the reburial of German internees and prisoners of war who died while they were detained in Australia during World War I and World War II.
“We have the Bangerang Cultural Centre. Sandy Atkinson was one of our senior elders who died only this year. I would like to acknowledge Uncle Sandy Atkinson, who was born on Cummeragunja Mission in 1932. He was just an amazing contributor to Victoria and to Australia. Uncle Sandy showed me through the Bangerang Cultural Centre only last year and it is a wonderful collection of historical artefacts and photographs precious to our past and more recent heritage” Ms Sheed said.
Ms Sheed also told an attentive Parliament about the Calder Woodburn Memorial Avenue.
“This has 9.5 kilometres of trees alongside the Goulburn Valley Highway heading into Shepparton. It was planted between 1945 and 1949 by Mr Woodburn as a living memorial to his son Calder, who lost his life while serving with the Royal Australian Air Force. There are now 100 memorial plaques on various trees going into Shepparton which recognise soldiers from our local district. Each memorial plaque was placed to face the home of the fallen soldier”.
Ms Sheed said, while the buildings of the past are important, it is what the community and governments do today which will be significant for the future.
“We have to consider what we are building, because I dare say that many of the buildings that are going up quickly around our cities and towns will not be buildings that will be honoured if they are not built in a way that reflects who we are now and what we think is of real value, rather than just chasing the quick dollar,” she said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org