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Audio tours and new seats for Port Arthur

21/12/2005

Visitors to the Port Arthur Historic Site will have their tours further enhanced through new audio tours and new seating unveiled today by Parks and Heritage Minister, Judy Jackson.

Ms Jackson, who was at the Site to announce the new initiatives, said visitor services are being constantly improved at the world-renowned heritage site.

“Audio tours are becoming the industry standard throughout the world at major sites and Port Arthur is the first historic site in Tasmania to provide them,” she said.

“The audio tour allows visitors to tour the site at their own pace, tailoring the tour to meet their personal interests and needs.

The audio tours incorporate material drawn from historical and literary sources as well as music and drama to bring the sounds and stories of the past alive.”

On the audio tours, Marcus Clark describes the paupers last days at the site; Captain LaPlace the French circumnavigator of the globe, describes a delightful evening at the Commandant’s house; and Anthony Trollope meets an old Irishman who tells him why he has spent almost his whole life in prison.

Ms Jackson also commissioned 30 new recycled celery-top timber benches, which were made by inmates at Risdon Prison through the generous assistance of Zinifex who supplied the timber from its smelters.

“This project has been brought about through a high level of cooperation between the Port Arthur Historic Site and Prison Industries,” she said.

“Prison Industries performs work for a broad cross section of the community, from contracted supply of goods to nursing homes and hospitals, to component manufacture and ‘one-off’ projects such as the benches and custom made furniture.

“It employs 13 full time staff and approximately 100 inmates each day, many of whom are apprentices and trainees.

“Inmates within Prison Industries learn not only essential trade skills but also valuable workplace communication and team skills.

“They are encouraged to develop a positive work ethic and gain job satisfaction.”