Location: Isolated & Neglected Remote
Distributed throughout the Top End
In this the Year of the Outback (2002), it is
telling that many homesteads and other rural buildings are under threat from neglect and decay.
Many of these places are no longer used as
dwellings or as working station buildings, so they have become increasingly exposed to neglect, the vagaries of the climate, and to
These once proud buildings, which represent so
much of the nation’s post 1788 settlement history, have now themselves become part of the story of social and pastoral change which has
occurred so rapidly in the last few decades.
The tragedy is that there is no national
picture of these losses. While there have been a number of regional and State and Territory surveys of homesteads and other rural buildings,
there is no national inventory of these places, and therefore no means of identifying those most at risk, and providing a means to ensure the
survival of a representative group of them.
In recognition of the significance of these
places to the nation, a nation wide effort should be made to coordinate a survey to assess the condition of isolated rural homesteads and
their outbuildings, as a first step to ensuring that a significant number are preserved so that they - and their stories - can remain as part
of the national story for generations of Australians into the future.