Wollongong Harbour has been given the NSW State’s highest level of heritage protection. Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, said the harbour and surrounding areas have been placed on the State Heritage Register. The heritage listing area includes many tourism attractions:
- The harbour and crane pedestal
- Two lighthouses
- Flagstaff Hill and fortifications
- Brighton Lawn
- Smith Hill fortifications
- Osborne Park and remnants of the historic tramline
- The old courthouse and customs house and several historic sea baths
The harbour has been listed because it:
- Has historical value because of its role providing access as the colony’s southern outpost from the 1830s
- Had associations with people or groups of people, namely the 300 strong convict labour force which constructed the basin harbour from 1837 to 1844
- Had aesthetic values because it has been retained in its 19th century configuration and was an eye-pleasing element in the foreshore landscape
- Had research potential by providing an insight into the operation of a colonial and early 20th century shipping port
- Is rare – being the oldest and most intact blocked wall harbour in NSW built by convict labour
Member for Wollongong, Noreen Hay, welcomed the announcement. “The harbour is rich with local history, from being the southern most port in the colony, to a bustling coal port and finally as home to the Wollongong fishing fleet and current recreation uses,” Ms Hay said.
“This illustrates the uses of heritage areas do change over time.” In recommending to list the harbour and surrounds, the independent 11 member Heritage Council unanimously resolved that the listing “will not preclude the limited, sympathetic development and adaptive re-use of the harbour and precinct in line with the site’s identified heritage values”.
Mr Kelly said the May 2010 heritage listing will help guide the proposed revitalisation of the precinct.
“The heritage listing means any major works for the sites would be subject to decisions or advice from the Heritage Council of NSW as well as Wollongong City Council,” the Minister said.
“The Heritage Council will now also play an important role approving a conservation management strategy for the area, to be developed by the Land and Property Management Authority.”
Pub: May 2010