NSW State Election 2019

14 March 2019

The National Trust (NSW) has outlined its hopes for the future of heritage in the lead up to the New South Wales State Election in 2019. We have specifically highlighted issues surrounding key questions, communicated these to our members and supporters, and directly campaigned to parliamentarians across the state and from all parties. We will regularly update this page with news as 23 March 2019 approaches – and communicate outcomes when the polls close.

The National Trust (NSW) has asked the question: how important will ‘place’ be in the considerations of the next State Government, with consideration to the conservation of our collective histories and places of significance.

We have asked parliamentarians how much of the past we are willing to decimate in place of yet more characterless buildings and overdevelopment – and in connection with this, how sustainable our communities are if overdevelopment progresses without sufficient public transport and infrastructure? We have asked if responsible steps to planning environmentally and socially sustainable places are being taken – with public spaces, the effects of climate change, accessibility and respect for the unique beauty of our cities and towns taken into account. We have also highlighted where policy approaches to heritage is going wrong – specifically with regard to poor community consultation and a disregard for the National Trust Register, the State Heritage Register and Conservation Areas.

These matters have been communicated to parliamentarians across the state and we committed to updating our members and supporters of their responses to inform your voting choices in relation to natural, cultural and built heritage in New South Wales.

Australian Labor Party

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has taken up, in a positive way, many of the issues on which the National Trust has been campaigning in its Heritage Policy. However, it does not directly address the issue of State Significant Development and State Significant Infrastructure overriding State Significant Heritage. The National Trust (NSW) is approaching the ALP seeking a commitment to amend their policy in this regard.

You can read the ALP Plan to Protect and Celebrate Heritage here.

Since the Autumn edition of our Advocacy News was circulated we have received this letter from the Hon Penny Sharpe.

Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party Coalition

The Hon Gabrielle Upton, Minister for the Environment, Local Government and Heritage has provided a detailed response to the questions posed by our President, Brian Powyer to the Premier, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian. The Minister’s response details the Liberals and Nationals Government’s position on: ‘place’ and the conservation of history and places of significance; the importance of community consultation; environmentally and socially sustainable development; the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo; the Sydney Football (Allianz) Stadium.

You can read the Minister’s response here

The Australian Greens

A detailed response has been received from Mr David Shoebridge outlining the Greens’ Position on Heritage – which is very supportive of the National Trust (NSW)’s concerns and addressed the basic questions being asked by the Trust.

Read the Greens’ Heritage Policy response here.


The Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, has responded to our questions.

Read the response from Alex Greenwich here.


What now?

As we are in pre-polling for the New South Wales state election, the National Trust (NSW) provides this information as it now stands to assist you in your voting, should you consider heritage conservation a major determining factor in your voting intentions. Should further responses be received, National Trust (NSW) members will be notified in a future eNews.