On World Heritage Day, Labor issues an urgent to do list to save and protect heritage across NSW

In Parliament | 18.04.19

Today, on World Heritage Day, Interim Labor Leader Penny Sharpe is calling on the Berejiklian Government to stop the neglect of heritage across NSW and act urgently to protect a number of key areas from destruction, over-development and neglect.

Immediate priorities for the Berejiklian Government are:

  1. The introduction of standalone Aboriginal Cultural Heritage laws supported by adequate funding to care for Aboriginal sites;
  2. List the Sirius Building on the State Heritage Register and stop plans to sell off the building to developers;
  3. Save the Willow Grove and St George’s Terrace buildings in Parramatta as part of the move of the Powerhouse Museum;
  4. Fast- track World Heritage listing for the Parramatta Female Factory historic precinct;
  5. Support the Camden community to nominate the town centre for state heritage listing; and
  6. Support a nomination of the Royal National Park for World Heritage listing.

“Care and protection of heritage is an important task for the state government; a task that has been neglected and ignored for the past eight years,” Ms Sharpe said

“The new minister in charge of heritage, Don Harwin, has an opportunity to turn this neglect around, the test is whether he will choose to do so.”

Ms Sharpe also called for urgent action to clear the backlog of state heritage nominations left behind by the previous Heritage Minister and to commit to meeting the statutory timeframes for heritage listings.

  • Former Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton took on average 199 days to make determinations to list new heritage items on the State Heritage Register after recommendation by the Heritage Council. The legal timeframe is 14 days;
  • While Ms Upton was the minister, of 41 new heritage items recommended for listing she only made a decision within the legal timeframe twice;
  • There are still 13 outstanding items for which the Government is yet to make a decision to list.

“Heritage listings give permanent protection, failure to adhere to the legal timeframes set for heritage listing means that developers and others are able to circumvent these protections. This has to stop,” Ms Sharpe added.

18 April is the International Day for Monuments and Sites also known as World Heritage day.