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National Carillon and Aspen Island Heritage Management Plan

The National Capital Authority (NCA) manages the Australian Government's continuing interest in the planning and development of Canberra as the Australian National Capital. The National Carillon and Aspen is included on the Commonwealth Heritage List and managed by the NCA.

To guide the management of the National Carillon and its setting, the NCA has prepared a management plan to identify, protect and manage the heritage values. The management plan was prepared in accordance with the heritage management principles and requirements for management plans for Commonwealth Heritage places set out in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The final plan has been considered by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.

Click the links below to download the National Carillon and Aspen Island Draft Heritage Management Plan.

You may require Adobe Reader to view PDF files or Word Viewer to view DOC files (View, print and copy, even if you don't have Word installed).

You may also view the Draft Management Plan at:

National Capital Authority, Ground Floor, Treasury Building, King Edward Terrace, PARKES ACT 2600, between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Or National Capital Exhibition, Regatta Point, Commonwealth Park, between 9am and 5pm daily, 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Purpose of Report

The 'Carillon' is listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List. It is located on Aspen Island on Lake Burley Griffin. The Carillon and Aspen Island are also part of the 'Parliament House Vista' Commonwealth Heritage Listing.

The Commonwealth Heritage List was created under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). It recognises places owned or managed by the Commonwealth Government that have Commonwealth Heritage values. Under the EPBC Act, all Commonwealth agencies are required to prepare management plans for Commonwealth Heritage Listed places under their management.

The purpose of this management plan is to identify, protect and manage the heritage values of the Carillon. This management plan was prepared in accordance with the heritage management principles and requirements under the EPBC Act. It has been considered by the Department of the Environment.

Key Findings

The Carillon is significant as a very large and public symbol of the link between Britain and Australia. The Carillon was a gift from the British government in 1963 to commemorate the 50th Jubilee of Canberra being established as the national capital. Symbolically, it is a very public expression of the link between Britain and Australia, and the shared parliamentary heritage between the two countries.

There are only three carillons in Australia, and the National Carillon is one of the finest of such musical instruments in the world, based on its octave range and acoustic setting. The music from the Carillon provides a special sensory experience of Lake Burley Griffin, which is valued by both visitors and the Canberra community.

Architecturally, the Carillon is a good example of Late Twentieth Century Brutalist style. The use of pre-cast permanent formwork panels and the use of self-climbing scaffolding during construction were innovative construction techniques at the time.

The Carillon and Aspen Island are important features to the picturesque landscape composition of Lake Burley Griffin and the Parliament House Vista. The tall white building rising above the surrounding trees is highly visible from nearly all directions around the Lake and is an impressive landmark. The vertical element of the Carillon is symmetrically placed with the Captain Cook Memorial Water Jet. These two vertical features mark the radiating boundaries of the National Triangle. The creation of the vista from Old Parliament House to the Australian War Memorial is the most ambitious and successful example of twentieth century urban planning in Australia.

Recommendations

The management plan includes a range of conservation policies and recommendations to conserve, interpret and manage the heritage values of the carillon and Aspen Island. The key recommendations aim to:

  • Conserve the Carillon as a musical instrument;
  • Protect and enhance the acoustic environment;
  • Protect views to and from Aspen Island;
  • Conserve the landscape setting of the Carillon and Aspen Island; and
  • Provide guiding policies for future works and new elements on Aspen Island.
Further information: 

For further information, please contact the NCA Cultural Heritage Manager at heritage@natcap.gov.au or 02 6271 2888.