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The bust of Sir Henry Parkes, Father of Federation, adorned an ambitious residential estate known as "Environa" on the outskirts of Canberra. Now kept by descendant of Henry Halloran on the estate which is private property.

In 1871 Parkes returned as the Member for Mudgee and so began the golden age of his political career. He was an able speaker, somewhat of an actor and his long white hair and flowing beard gave him an apostolic look. During this period, he introduced the Public Instruction Act which abolished state aid for denominational schools . Parkes' Ministry is best remembered for his fiery and impassioned support for the Federation of Australian Colonies, making his famous speech at the School of Arts, Tenterfield on 24 October 1889.

Henry Halloran, an enterprising realtor bought the property at auction in 1924 and began planning the future city known as Environa. Halloran emphasised the future promise of the region, with the closest freehold (Torrens title) land to the federal territory.

Plans for the northern part of the subdivision, called Canberra Freehold Estate, included space for offices, shops, a hospital, and theatres. Some of the street names were Rue de Paris, Piazza di Roma and Tokio Dori. On the southern part of the estate, Halloran built stone monuments. These included an arch at the entrance, rows of stone pillars along the entrance route, and a bust of Henry Parkes on a tall column. Bandstands were built, which had corrugated iron roof supported by tree trunks, and a platform. The main top-mast off HMAS Sydney was erected, but rotted at the base and collapsed. This was later moved to Jervis Bay.

No blocks were ever sold and the planned development never went ahead with the Great Depression killing off the project. The Queanbeyan Council resumed the land to the north, because of unpaid rates, and it later became part of South Queanbeyan. Henry Halloran died in 1953 after 84 years of life and the property at Environa was inherited by his daughter Mrs Joyce Larcombe. A house was built there in 1971.



Address:Environa, Fraser Park, south of Tralee raceway at entrance to property, Queanbeyan, 2620
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.401667
Long: 149.178333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Artist:Giovanni Fontana
Source: MA,NRUM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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