Thursday, 16 August 2007
Statements by Members
League of Historical Cities: City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters
We spend a lot of time in this parliament talking about problems, and it is my great pleasure today to instead be able to share yet another success story from the electorate of Adelaide. In 1994 in Kyoto the League of Historical Cities was born. This league recognises the contribution that significant and historical cities have made to culture and heritage throughout the world. Last month the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, in my electorate of Adelaide, was admitted to that prestigious international list. I would like to congratulate the city and its 34,000 residents on this wonderful achievement, which sees Norwood, Payneham and St Peters join just 71 other cities around the world—cities which include Rome, Prague, Jerusalem and Montreal. The city represents not only the people within these suburbs but all of South Australia and indeed the country, becoming just the third Australian city, alongside Melbourne and Ballarat, to join the league.
Let me tell you a little about the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters. Like much of South Australia, it is a city rich with heritage, culture and passion for its history. In fact, more than that, it is a city full of very important historical firsts. The City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters holds the honour of being the birthplace of local government in Australia. On 7 July 1853, the former City of Kensington and Norwood became the first suburban municipal town council to be declared in Australia. In addition, in that same year the city held the first secret ballot in Australia, believed to be the first documented example conducted in our country’s electoral history. I believe that all of us who like to celebrate the joys of our democracy can be grateful for this.
There are a number of other important firsts for this city—far too many for me to list here today—but another significant one is that the settlement was where the first electric tram service began operation in Australia. The admission to the League of Historical Cities highlights the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters as a leader in cultural heritage and the conservation of built heritage. I have no doubt it will live up to the league’s aims to encourage opportunities for the exchange of ideas about how to preserve historical and cultural assets and integrate them into the fabric of modern societies.
I would like to particularly take the time to congratulate Mayor Robert Bria and the current council on doing a fantastic job in gaining the recognition which this city so deserves. They work tirelessly within the local community and to get recognition on a global stage. It is a wonderful achievement when Australians either as individuals or as communities are recognised on a global scale, and I think that we should all once again congratulate the city on this remarkable achievement.