FLINDERS MP Greg Hunt is urging community groups and individuals to apply for grants to “to engage with and raise awareness of” Point Nepean.
Point Nepean is the only one of 104 places on the National Heritage List in Mr Hunt’s electorate.
“I encourage community organisations and individuals who want to engage with Point Nepean to consider making an application for a grant,” Mr Hunt said.
“Grants of between $2500 and $10,000 are available to undertake activities that promote community engagement and raise awareness of places on Australia’s National Heritage List.”
Mr Hunt, who has long been a critic of successive Labor state government plans for Point Nepean, has advocated tertiary institutions (initially the Launceston-based Australian Maritime College and then Melbourne University) be allowed to establish campuses on the former Defence property.
The current government – after reportedly paying out the Point Leisure Group which wanted to provide accommodation based around hot springs – is now working on proposals to develop Point Nepean based on plans drawn up in 2010.
The Community Heritage and Icons Grants are aimed at raising awareness and recognition of places on the heritage list.
“I have long been a supporter of Point Nepean and its rich heritage. It is a special place on the Mornington Peninsula and it is vital that we preserve and protect this important part of our history for generations to come,” Mr Hunt said.
“This is an opportunity for us to continue to support, enhance and celebrate Point Nepean.”
Mr Hunt said Point Nepean has a rich cultural heritage as an indigenous gathering place.
“It is also the nation’s oldest quarantine station, which housed migrants following the Gold Rush in 1851. People who arrived by boat and had contracted diseases were sent to Point Nepean to be treated.
“Point Nepean also has a strong military history, with guns placed at Fort Nepean in 1886 to protect Australia’s borders from invasion by foreign troops. The first shot fired by Australian forces in World War I was fired by batteries at Fort Nepean.”
Applications close 22 March 2016.