Recognising Wollongong’s Heritage

Caption: Reproduced with permission from Wollongong City Libraries. Wollongong Post Office with staff c1907. Back row from left: Stan Hosking (mechanic), unknown, Dave Wells (telegraphist). Front row from left: unknown, Albert William Edwards (telephonist) Fred Chadban (telegraph messenger).

Wollongong City Council will seek NSW State Government approval for housekeeping amendments to heritage items within the Wollongong Local Environment Plan 2009, as part of our commitment to celebrating local heritage.

The work is the first step in a two stage Heritage Schedule Review Project, and is an opportunity to make minor amendments to existing listings of local heritage items within the documentation. These items include Council buildings, private properties and natural features and items such as Fig Trees.

“Things that can be considered as having heritage value can be diverse range of natural and cultural heritage sites and we have an important role to play in maintaining and conserving these sites for future generations,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“In our city we’ve got some 475 heritage items and 9 Conservation Areas, including in Kembla Heights and at Garrawarra that are currently listed in our Local Environment Plan. We’ve also got areas that are captured under NSW State Environment Planning Policies (SEPPs), as well as 24 State-significant sites listed under the NSW Heritage Act 1977.

“A heritage listing in the LEP schedule might capture the whole property, but within the listing itself there might be further detail about the elements that are significant such as a house, the gardens or buildings. This first stage of the heritage review has provided the opportunity for us to review how these sites are captured in Council’s Plan, and to ensure the information is as up to date as it can be.”

In addition to amendments to address details, property names or boundaries, the review has identified nine items for removal from the heritage list. These include listings for two separate groups of Norfolk Island Pines, which were removed by the RMS for the construction of the Sea Cliff Bridge and the extension of Memorial Drive, a cottage in Helensburgh that was destroyed by fire and a mural in Port Kembla that has been assessed as not meeting the listing criteria.

Council is proposing the removal of the military museum including the Break Water Battery and concrete tank barriers at Port Kembla, as well as Marshall Mount homestead and barn from the Wollongong Local Environment Plan 2009. This is an administrative update only, because both sites are protected by State Government heritage listings – the museum and surrounds under the Three Ports SEPP and the homestead under the Major Projects SEPP – Calderwood.

We’re also looking to re-add the West Wollongong TAFE Trade School and Hillside Farm at Dombarton into the LEP heritage list after, despite being mapped, were left off the Heritage Schedule in a past administrative error.

“We’ve been working for many years on a major review of the Heritage Schedule in the Wollongong Local Environment Plan 2009,” Cr Bradbery said.

“It’s detailed and time-consuming work that can involve extensive research and supports the goals in the Wollongong Heritage Strategy and Implementation Plan 2019-2022. It’s positive to be moving forward on this project.”

Following the consideration of Council at its meeting on Monday 25 May, Council will prepare a draft Planning Proposal to progress the housekeeping amendments to the heritage list and forward this draft Proposal to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for Gateway Determination. Should the Determination be issued, Council would then place the draft Planning Proposal on public exhibition.

Stage 2 of the Review project will propose the listing of additional heritage items and will be reported to Council later in the year.

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