Funding to upgrade Harold Holt Memorial on 50-year anniversary

Media Release

DC444/2017

16 December 2017

Joint release with:

Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders

  • The Australian Government has committed $50,000 for design and planning of the upgrade of the Harold Holt Memorial and Lookout at Cheviot Beach, Victoria
  • Funding announced on the 50-year anniversary of Harold Holt's disappearance
  • Project is fully funded by the Australian Government, to be paid to the Nepean Historical Society

One of Australia's most famous—and significant—events has been marked today in Portsea with $50,000 in funding approved to upgrade the Harold Holt Memorial and Lookout at Cheviot Beach, Victoria.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding would plan and design the upgrade of the lookout and memorial for the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt.

“Harold Holt achieved many things during his time as Prime Minister, most notably the 1967 referendum to give Indigenous Australians the right to vote and introducing the decimal currency to Australia. On December 17, 1967, Prime Minister Holt tragically went missing while swimming off Portsea's Cheviot Beach in Victoria, and the upgrade of the Memorial and Lookout at Cheviot Beach will commemorate his great service to our nation,” Mr Chester said”

Federal Member for Flinders Greg Hunt, who will formally announce the funding at a commemorative service with Holt's family today, said Australia's 17th Prime Minister deserved to be known for more than just his infamous disappearance.

“Prime Minister Holt is an incredibly important part of not just the Peninsula's history, but our shared Australian story,” Minister Hunt said.

“As one of the founding members of the Liberal Party, Prime Minister Holt had a decorated parliamentary career, playing a vital role in dismantling the White Australia Policy, overseeing major reforms to Australian banking system, was the Minister responsible for the establishment of the Reserve Bank, introduced decimal currency and played a key role in the 1967 referendum that ensured Full-bloodAborigines could now be counted in the national census.

“The disappearance of Harold Holt off the coast of Cheviot Beach captured the imagination of a nation and is a moment that is entrenched into not only our nation's history, but into our local history. It is incredibly important that we honour the date of his loss, especially on such a milestone anniversary and this funding will help ensure the memorial will continue to be a fitting tribute.

“The funding will be paid to the Nepean Historical Society, to be held in trust for the works. The final design will be agreed upon by theHolt Family, the community, as represented by the Harold Holt Memorial Committee and Parks Victoria.”