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Innovative Engineering at Female Factory


An innovative engineering technique is being used to stabilise a wall at the historic Female Factory site in South Hobart.

The Minister for Environment, Parks, heritage and the Arts, Michelle O'Byrne, said the work was an important step in conserving a significant heritage site.

"The efforts to stabilise the Degraves St wall using the Uretek method of deep grout injection will build on previous work that included temporary bracing in 2005.

"Underpinning the wall would have disturbed the site's significant archaeological deposits which help tell the story of the convict women and others who occupied the site.

"The new grout injecting method will result in significantly less disturbance to the fabric of the wall and meets the conservation principles identified for this site."

Ms O'Byrne said it would be the first time the Uretek method was being used by the Parks and Wildlife Service to help conserve a heritage structure.

"The State Government is committed to preserving our Tasmania's unique built heritage.

"Our island's heritage not only provides Tasmanians with a sense of place and pride through a direct connection with our history, sites such as these also have significant attraction for tourists wanting to explore our country's convict past.

"This is why the application of innovative preservation work is so important, as it helps us maintain extremely significant structures so that more and more people can see and learn from them."

The Female Factory operated between 1828 and 1856. More than half the 25,000 women transported to Australia came to Van Diemen's Land, and most had a connection or association with the Cascades Female Factory.

"The Female Factory, in South Hobart, is Australia's premier female convict site," Ms O'Byrne said.

"The site's national and international values are being acknowledged, with its recent nomination to the National Heritage List and inclusion in the Australian Government's convict serial nomination to the World Heritage List."

Ms O'Byrne said the project was being undertaken with funding from the Australian Government through the National Heritage Investment Initiative and supporting funds from the Tasmanian Government.

This first stage of the project will cost about $60,000.