Issued Wednesday, 3 December 2003
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
AUSTRALIA’S GREATEST BUILDING GAINS STATE HERITAGE HONOURS
The Premier of NSW, Mr Bob Carr today announced that Australia’s greatest building, the Sydney Opera House, has been listed on the State Heritage Register.
The State listing is a major step toward being recognised on the new National Heritage list and, eventually, on the World Heritage list.
Four million people — equal to the entire population of Sydney enter the doors of the Opera House each year.
According to Tourism NSW (2002) some 2.02 million international tourists also spend more than $7.3 million a year on paid tours, merchandise and concerts while visiting the Sydney Opera House.
Mr Carr said the Sydney Opera House was an instantly recognisable symbol for Australia around the world.
“As was the case during the Sydney Olympics the Opera House was a centerpiece for celebrations during the recent Rugby World Cup.
“In the year of its 30 birthday it is entirely appropriate that this great building is included in the State Heritage Register.”
It surely deserves these further levels of recognition. Mr Carr said Jørn Utzon’s masterpiece ranks as one of the greatest architectural achievements of the 20th Century.
“There is no building in Australia that is held in higher professional esteem.”
“The status of the whole State Heritage Register will be lifted by this listing.”
“It’s an old adage that you are known by the company you keep,” the Premier said.
“What better company for the heritage of this state than those wonderful concrete and tile sails and the performing venues inside them?”
As part of the listing, site specific exemptions have been developed by the Heritage Office with the Sydney Opera House Trust.
These alleviate the need for Heritage Council consent for a range of works, the intention being to streamline the future management of the place once it is listed on the State Heritage Register.