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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Heritage Listing brings hope for Richmond Bridge.





Heritage Listing brings hope for Richmond Bridge. 26/11/2005. ABC News Online

The community of Richmond in southern Tasmania is hoping that National Heritage Listing of the town's historic bridge will further the campaign for a bypass around the town.

The Richmond Bridge, which was built by convicts, has joined Port Arthur and Recherche Bay and 17 other Australian icons on the list.

The bridge is Australia's oldest and is virtually unchanged from when it was built 180 years ago.

The Clarence Council says the sandstone is being damaged by traffic and a bypass is needed.

Mayor Jock Campbell says he hopes the bridge's inclusion on the National Heritage List will prompt the Government to act.

"I certainly hope that it will give us the leverage on the State Government and they clearly do understand the importance of our heritage and the real need to protect items like this," he said.

A spokesman for the Infrastructure Minister says a bypass would be a very costly option, but the Government is talking to Clarence Council about solutions to Richmond's traffic issues.

Local resident Graham Abbott has long fought for greater protection for the stone structure.

He says the national recognition should prompt the Tasmanian Government to do more to protect the bridge from traffic wear and tear.

"Still there's a lot of work to be done to ensure it is preserved," he said.

"Bits of the parapet have been knocked down several times over the years, but nothing was done.

"You know, there was a meeting here, I think in 2001, when the local community met and called for something to be done.

"It must have got lost in a government department somewhere along the line."
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