Thursday, 21 June 2012
Melbourne Ports Electorate: Rippon Lea
The stately home of Rippon Lea in my electorate was originally the home of Sir Frederick Sargood, the Victorian Minster for the Army prior to Federation. After its sale to Sir Thomas Bent, the then premier of Victoria, it has had an illustrious history through the last hundred years. Fortunately, the people of Victoria resisted the activities of the imperialists at the ABC to try and seize the land of that stately home and it was one of the first successful fights of the public to support Australian heritage.
Again, the Australian government in the current round of funding in the Your Community Heritage Program has seen that the Rippon Lea estate will receive $353,100 from the government. This investment will make sure that this premier stately home in any urban centre in Australia is kept up to the standard you would expect of a successful country like Australia. The funding will allow the Victorian National Trust Fund to take Rippon Lea's roof restoration and to reduce its carbon footprint.
The project will focus on restoration of the roof; the repair of the roof structure to enhance the significance of the site and take it back to its original state; and preserve the house's interior from water damage that inevitably takes place over more than one hundred years. The project will enhance the site by preserving the building's interior and restoring the exterior to the standard the trust expects of buildings of this standard, and to make it more sustainable. The project recognises the great pride we have in Melbourne Ports in Rippon Lea and follows the $250,000 project from the federal government's stimulus package heritage projects, which restored the famous grotto that exists next to the lake and waterfall at the Rippon Lea stately home.
Rippon Lea is a great heritage part of Australia. It is the largest stately home inside an urban area in Australia. People in my electorate, including successive generations of children, have enjoyed this wonderful heritage site. The new restorations will be inviting a new generation of children to reacquaint themselves with the grounds of Rippon Lea with its famous tree house, its now restored grotto, its lakes, the stately home, the gardens and the old orchards that existed right in the middle of the city. Rippon Lea is an adornment to Australia's heritage.