Heritage-listed fossil site unveiled after restoration

Released 19/04/2017

Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman today unveiled a pathway to one of Australia’s most significant fossil fields as part of the 2017 Canberra and Region Heritage Festival.

The newly restored fossil site provides a window into what the Canberra region was like 425 million years ago.

“Today I was pleased to unveil the new pathway, which will lead curious Canberrans and interstate visitors to the Woolshed Creek fossil site,” Minister Gentleman said.

“The history of the fossil site plays an important role in understanding Canberra’s unique heritage. In 1844, Reverend William Branwhite Clarke, a pastor and geologist, visited Duntroon and discovered fossils from the Silurian Period at the nearby Woolshed Creek.

“In the Silurian Period the Earth was considerably different - Canberra was a warm, shallow sea home to many aquatic invertebrate animals such as brachiopods, corals and bryozoans. Coral reefs made their first appearance during this remarkable time.

“Scientific debates in the 19th century were had at local, national and international levels about the significance of this discovery, indicating that for the first time rocks of this age were present in Australia.

“The ACT Government recognises the importance of preserving heritage sites for future generations, allowing them to learn, explore and appreciate the history of their community.

“An ACT Heritage grant of $6,000, awarded to the Geological Society of Australia in 2015, was put to work with the society installing signage, markers and an upgraded pathway enabling the public to better access this historic fossil site.

“It is hoped the unveiling of this new pathway will enable visits by students, teachers and the general public to continue for many years to come,” Minister Gentleman concluded.

- Statement ends -

Section: Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

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