When managing both Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage we must consider and follow legislative procedures and controls outlined in the NSW Heritage Act 1977, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
Council’s legislative responsibilities in heritage management include:
- Maintaining a list of significant heritage places in the Local Environmental Plan
- Developing and implementing development policies for the conservation of both Indigenous and non-indigenous heritage
- Ensuring potential heritage impacts of proposed development in the city are carefully considered as part of the development assessment process and in accordance with relevant controls and legislation
- Taking relevant enforcement action in relation to illegal development that affects the city’s heritage items.
Council also takes an active role in other aspects of heritage management that address expectations of the community and fulfil our social responsibility by:
- Involving the community in decisions relating to heritage in a number of ways including through the Wollongong Heritage Reference Group’s regular meetings
- Managing and maintaining a diverse range of Council-owned and managed heritage assets and places of Aboriginal Heritage Significance
- Providing advice and support to owners of heritage places
- Promoting the city’s heritage and providing education opportunities and materials relating to Wollongong’s history and heritage
- Providing support to local museums.
Heritage Development Policies and Procedures
Wollongong’s Local Environmental Plans
There are currently 490 heritage-listed sites throughout Council’s area and nine heritage conservation areas. Any listed item must meet the requirements set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1974 and the associated regulations.
Heritage items are listed in Council’s Local Environmental Plans or LEPs.
There are also a few local heritage listings contained in State Environmental Planning Policies or SEPP. These include the sites in the Port of Port Kembla part of the SEPP (Port Botany and Port Kembla) SEPP 2013 and in the Sandon Point and Calderwood sections of the SEPP (Major Development) 2005.
Each of the relevant LEPs and SEPPs contain details on the management of heritage items, Aboriginal heritage sites and archaeological sites. These details cover the rules or procedures Council must apply and consider in assessing any development which may impact on heritage sites throughout the city.
Wollongong Development Control Plan 2009
In addition to the LEP controls Council has two heritage related chapters in the Wollongong Development Control Plan 2009. These provide more practical and procedural guidance in relation to the management and development of heritage sites. These chapters are:
Chapter E10: Aboriginal Heritage
This DCP Chapter provides direction and guidelines in relation to the application of Aboriginal Heritage Legislation throughout the City. This chapter specifies the relevant triggers, documentation requirements and procedural matters applying to development applications which may have an impact on Aboriginal Heritage sites. Applicants are encouraged to consider these requirements before making applications for development. This is particularly necessary where the development site has been identified as, or is known or likely to contain, Aboriginal sites or to be a place of Aboriginal Cultural significance.
Chapter E10: Aboriginal Heritage
Chapter E11: Heritage Conservation
This DCP Chapter specifies Council’s controls, procedures and guidelines for development that relates to, or is likely to impact upon sites of heritage significance. This chapter provides a range of practical guidance, procedures, controls and standards relevant to development in the city and is an essential tool for the management of local heritage sites. The chapter also specifies the significant elements and requirements related to the city’s various Heritage Conservation Areas and should be referred to for development within these areas.
Chapter E11: Heritage Conservation.
State Heritage Register
The Wollongong Local Government Area is also home to 23 heritage sites that are also listed on the State Heritage Register. These sites include:
- The North Beach Precinct, which includes the North Beach Bathers Pavilion and Kiosk
- The Wollongong Harbour Precinct, which includes the Harbour, the new and old lighthouses, the Smiths Hill and Flagstaff Hill Forts, the old Wollongong Court House and the various rockpools and baths in the precinct.
- Hill 60/Illowra Battery, which includes the landscape of Hill 60, Battery Point, MM Beach and Breakwater Battery.
- The Balgownie Migrant Hostel
- Gleniffer Brae
These sites are considered to be of significance to the whole state and have additional protection under the NSW Heritage Act 1977. Any development proposals related to State Heritage-listed sites require approval under this Act by the NSW Heritage Council.
If you’d like to know more about State Heritage listed items and State Heritage Grants visit the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s website.