Here at the National Trust (NSW), we not only care for special places, we also act as a strong voice for protecting important built, cultural and natural heritage. This year we worked with government and the community to stand up for heritage under threat.
2022 heritage wins
This year the National Trust made over 70 submissions on local heritage issues, and saw a number of wins:
- Following the timely Heritage Act Forum in mid-2021, more than 40 community and government meetings took place, spurring on momentum and strengthening strategic relationships in the review of this critical Act.
- The NSW Education Department reversed unsympathetic changes to the Fort Street Public School design.
- National Parks and Wildlife Services reconsidered the West Head Lookout upgrades to reflect the significance of the landscape.
- ‘Glenlee’ on the Georges River was locally listed and is currently recommended for the State Heritage Register in response to an application to demolish the homestead and subdivide the land.
- An application to demolish a collection of Edwardian terraces on Pitt Street for a new high-rise tower was redesigned to retain the terrace shop fronts, conserving the heritage character of the street.
- Treo Resources withdrew its mining application once aware of the Bylong Landscape Conservation Area listing on the National Trust Register, reinforcing the importance of listing significant places, items and landscapes.
- The NSW Premier responded to calls for heritage to be elevated into the portfolio title, appointing the Hon. James Griffin MP as Minister for Environment and Heritage.
- The NSW Premier knocked back a proposal for Central Barangaroo due to its impact on historic Millers Point and Observatory Hill; and
- A national “2022 Federal Election Heritage Priorities Statement” was also developed by the Australian Council of National Trusts. This shared the National Trust’s perspective on threats facing heritage and presented solutions to current and prospective governments.
What still needs to be done?
Many of our major campaigns are ongoing and in 2023 we’ll continue to advocate for the following heritage sites under threat.
Hambledon Cottage and the surrounding heritage setting of Harris Park and Parramatta are currently under threat from a proposed large scale residential complex. The development is posed to be placed between three of Australia’s most historical farmhouses – Hambledon Cottage, Experiment Farm Cottage and Elizabeth Farm, severing their connection and completely overwhelming the urban landscape and character. Both the National Trust and the local community have been battling this proposal, which received close to 2000 unanimous letters of opposition. The National Trust continues to monitor the outcome of this proposal and advocate for the heritage of Parramatta and its surrounds.
The National Trust worked tirelessly this year with the community to retain historic public views throughout The Rocks, Millers Point and Observatory Hill, which were threatened by development modifications proposed for Central Barangaroo.
The proposal included numerous height limit increases that would block important views throughout the precinct, especially a 73-metre tower obstructing the western views both to and from the Sydney Observatory. A strong campaign against this from the National Trust, City of Sydney, and Millers Point Resident Action Group has seen the tower proposal knocked back by the Planning Minister. This is huge win for heritage throughout Sydney.
Central Station and surrounds
Central Station and its surrounds, including the Redfern Eveleigh Paint Shop, former Parcels Post Office and former Parcels Shed have been subject to a number of development and rezoning applications this year that will completely transform the character of the precinct. We are very much at risk of losing the heritage, outdoor connection and collective social memory of one of Sydney’s most beloved public spaces.
The National Trust has championed multiple submissions opposing the overdevelopment and detailing the heritage significance of this precinct – from the First Nations heritage to architecture, archaeology, cemeteries, industrial and of course social significance and public sentiment. The Trust continues to fight to protect the existing sites from over-development and its associated damages.
Powerhouse Museum renewal
Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum is set for a huge renovation in the near future – but the proposed concept State Significant Development Application lodged earlier this year did not appropriately respect the heritage of the site or its collection. The National Trust advocated for a concept with more appropriate building envelopes, an adequate CMP that properly values the significance of the site, and a suitable plan for evaluating and retaining the current collection onsite. We continue to monitor the outcomes of this proposal and champion a sustainable and respectful future for the Powerhouse Museum architecture and contents.
Find out more
The National Trust (NSW) has been campaigning to protect NSW’s built, cultural and natural heritage for over 75 years. Find out more about our advocacy work.
Stay up-to-date on future advocacy news
Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter to hear about our latest advocacy efforts for protecting NSW heritage.