Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith has marked this year’s National Heritage Festival by announcing a $40,000 grant to the Blue Mountains Council to undertake conservation work on state heritage listed Lennox Bridge.
The council will receive $40,000 over two years for a stonemason to undertake the restoration work on the bridge, which is the oldest on mainland Australia.
“Looking after our heritage is everyone’s responsibility and communities play an important role in maintaining and promoting heritage locally,” Stuart Ayres said.
“Our local heritage speaks to our history so it is important to protect, promote and celebrate it.”
Councils, Aboriginal organisations, peak heritage organisations and owners of heritage items across the state were awarded a share of $5.4 million in grant funding under the NSW Government’s Heritage Grants Program.
Penrith Council also received two heritage grants over two years totalling $23,000.
“These two grants will go towards the cost of a local heritage advisor who will provide advice to the council on local heritage planning and conservation, and a locally run small grants program to encourage the community to protect their local heritage,” Mr Ayres said.
Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton said this heritage funding was vital for communities to protect their heritage.
“I encourage people to use this week to explore their local heritage. There are a number of National Trust NSW Heritage Festival events running from 18 April until 21 May for people to celebrate our state’s heritage,” Ms Upton said.
Willow Warriors will also receive a $5,000 grant from Ms Upton’s conservation fund to help tackle black willows, an invasive weed, in the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment.
The conservation group will paddle waterways within the catchment to poison and prevent the weed from growing. The money will be used to educate landowners about eradicating the weed and to help maintain and purchase equipment for the group.
“This is a great example of a community project helping make a difference to our local environment, protecting the Nepean River,” Stuart Ayres said.