Monday, December 29, 2008

In the Public Interest: Nobbys Headland (Whibayganba) and Nobbys Lighthouse (1857) at the entrance to the Hunter River, Newcastle NSW.

Dear friends
In the Public Interest: Nobbys Headland (Whibayganba) and Nobbys Lighthouse (1857) at the entrance to the Hunter River, Newcastle NSW.
Nobbys Headland should be a National Park and freely open to the public as are other lighthouse sites in NSW. It is of National significance and could be administered by the Parks Service or a Community Trust but must not be privatised. The recently built brick garage against the lighthouse must be removed and no new houses built.
Please write to:
Hon Peter Garrett AM MP Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, PO Box 6022
House of Representatives Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600
The Hon. Nathan Rees MP Premier of NSW, Parliament House, Sydney 2000

• Nobbys headland (Whibayganba) is Newcastle’s unique heritage landmark: It is the most widely recognised symbol of the City of Newcastle and an Aboriginal Dreaming Place of great significance.
• Nobbys was formerly an island. It was connected to the mainland by a convict built breakwater Macquarie Pier (1818 -1846) and is an integral part of the Heritage Listed Coal River Precinct (SHR1647).
• Newcastle’s Coal River Precinct is a cultural landscape of national significance and has Nobbys Headland (Whibayganba) at its focal point. Its landform, heritage places, relics, and buildings symbolise major events in Australia’s journey to nationhood: The discovery of winnable coal, the first coalmine in the southern hemisphere and Australia’s first export industry.
• The founding of Newcastle and the transition from convictism to free labour and from government industry to private enterprise.
• The establishment of the first coal fired beacon on the Australian coast and its replacement by the still operational Nobbys Lighthouse.
• The protection of the port with the construction of Macquarie Pier 1818 and the building of the fortifications at Fort Scratchley 1882.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Annual Meeting of the Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust

The Annual meeting of the Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust will be held at Tomago House on Sunday 7 December at 11 am. The guest speaker will be National Trust Board member , Ian Carroll. OAM.

He has a strong commitment to the preservation of Australia’s natural, built and cultural heritage, including our indigenous and ethnic heritage, and to the promotion of heritage values to governments and the community, including our younger and ethnic communities. He also has a strong interest in the governance, strategic management and risk management of not-for-profit organisations as essential factors in their ability to achieve their beneficial objectives.

National Trust members are welcome to attend. Lunch is able to be purchased at the House on the day. Other details contact Ann Hardy on 0438509139.

CONVICT LUMBER YARD


The Trust recently commented on a proposed development on the footprint of the Convict Lumber Yard historic site in Newcastle. The Convict Lumber Yard was an Australian Colonial workplace and today it remains relatively undisturbed in the urban port location of the Hunter River (previously known as Coal River). The historic site has strong associations with early European and convict occupation from 1814 and is representative of convictism in Australia. The lumberyard is considered to be rare in New South Wales as evidence of a convict industrial workplace. Recent archaeological investigations have confirmed relics associated with convict occupation on the lumberyard footprint and potentially these relics could be of National significance. The proposed new development would disturb these relics.

The Trust supports interpretation of the Convict Lumber Yard that reflects the cultural heritage of the site, its past use and open spaces. The historic site potentially may reveal through future historical archaeological and research much more about Australian convict work spaces, technologies and skills.

It is hoped that the open space on the footprint of the lumberyard can be retained as this contributes not only to the Convict Lumber Yard Parkland but to the townscape of Newcastle and Newcastle East Conservation areas. The National Trust considers the convict lumberyard as having cultural significance and worthy of conservation. We hope that a reasonable decision is made to protect this early industrial site, and await comment from the New South Wales Department of Planning.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Groups rally against NSW planning laws


The RAID (Residents Against Inappropriate Development) Rally at Hyde Park in Sydney was a roaring success. There would have been about 1000 people there with representatives from 30 groups around NSW including the Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust and Parks & Playgrounds Movement. All of whom are furious about the recent amendments to the EPA Act (Environmental and Planning Act, 1979). In particular, the Part 3A Critical Infrastructure amendment is the most abhorred by community groups as it takes away the rights of local government and communities to have a say in developments. Deals behind closed doors have to stop! Furthermore, once the Planning Minister approves a development, there will be no right of appeal under Part 3A. Jack Mundey, long time activist and union leader who was instrumental in the 1970s for issuing Green Bans across the country from Freemantle to Hobart - as well as getting the EPA Act (1979) enshrined in law to protect our environment and built heritage spoke passionately at the Rally and said "This is a replay of what happened in the 1970s, when people like you took up the cudgels to get the first heritage legislation in this country. This is the worst government since the Askins Government as far as our heritage is concerned. We need to force the government to repeal the laws." Sylvia Hale of the Greens said that we are affected by the appalling development decisions which undermine the Planning Act as well as community access. The property development industry poured millions of dollars
into the Labour Party coffers and they spent it on TV ads. 12 months after elected they introduced "reforms" to the planning laws based on the latest wish list of the development industry.Other speakers included Robert Stokes of the Liberal Party, Peter Stuckberry of the Royal Institite of Archtecture, Brad Hazzard, Julie Cook of the Hill Top Residents Action Group, Shane Withington of Friends of Currawong, The National Trust and Tony Rescie who put forward a motion, seconded by Jack Mundey, calling on the Rees Government to revoke all legislation which forces unacceptable high density development on local communites as well as Part 3A of the EPA Act amongst other demands. The speakers were warmly received by the colourful crowd who brandished placards and banners demanding rights for communities and the environment. Peter Stutchbury observed that there was a distinct lack of young and indigenous people in the crowd, and stressed the importance of fighting these issues hand in hand with the traditional caretakers of this country. He quoted an Aboriginal elder who said "Why are you digging up the ground? We have walked this land for 60 thousand years; that is our library you are digging up."

Grossman House Pits and Pubs Tour‏

Friends of Grossman House invite you to join historian Ed Tonks for the popular PITS & PUBS of the coalfields Tour on Sunday 2 November 2008, departing by coach from Maitland Courthouse carpark at 9 am. Morning tea and Pub Lunch included.Cost is $40 for members and $45 for others. Bookings essential on 49336452 (Grossman House) or 49301311(Hilma Ellis)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NATIONAL TRUST HERITAGE FESTIVAL 'Our Place in Space- Under the Southern Cross"


The National Trust invites you to celebrate Australia’s natural and cultural heritage and to be part of one of the largest and longest running community festivals in the state, with a variety of over 400 community-hosted events held across metropolitan and regional NSW from Saturday 4 April to Sunday 19 April 2009.
As the host, the Trust brings together community groups, schools, the business community and local government to create a unique program of events. When you register your event with the National Trust Heritage Festival, your activity and organisation will be promoted free of charge via the Trust website and in the Heritage Festival Program. 35,000 Programs will be distributed to National Trust members, National Trust properties, event organisers and the general public through motor registries, councils, libraries, visitor information offices, and cultural organisations.
SUGGESTIONs FOR EVENTS INCLUDE:
• Talks/lectures about the people who have shaped Australia’s part in the science of Astronomy. Our occupation and interaction with our landscape (built and natural), future urban expansion, urban planning and ecological sustainability and how this may affect one of the world’s largest wonders – The Sky.
• Exhibitions and historical displays
• Photographic exhibitions of the night sky.
• Educational competitions.
• Star gazing nights.
• Movie nights screening space, space discovery movies.
To register your event, please complete the on-line registration form by Friday 28 November 2008 at www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au
(The obelisk symbolized the sun god Ra)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NISSEN HUT STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION


Jill Wran, Chairman, Historic Houses Trust,
The University of Newcastle & Lake Macquarie City Council
invite you to the announcement of the winner of the
Nissen Hut Student design competition
2pm Thursday 2 october 2OO8 at the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery First Street, Booragul, RSVP Monday 22 September
rsvp@hht.net.au or T 02 8239 2288 (acceptances only)
Exhibition open 30 September - 26 October 08

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Garden Party at "Clifton"



On Saturday 11th October, Historic "Clifton", at Station Lane, Lochinvar, just over the railway line, c 1849, a National Trust listed property, will hold an "Open House" garden party. Open for inspection 10.30 to 4.30, hosted by the owners John and Claire Morrison. Morning and afternoon teas and lunch available. $5 entry to the garden. Claire is current chair of Friends of Grossman House. Enquiries to 49336452 or 49307590

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RAID - Rally Against Inappropriate Development

Join RAID – Rally Against Inappropriate Development on Sunday
19th October 2008

10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m Hyde Park near
St James station marching to Parliament House.

Highlight your own community issue and be part of state-wide action.
OVERDEVELOPMENT! WRECKING YOUR SUBURB? SPOILING A PLACE YOU LOVE?
DESTROYING OUR HERITAGE? ROBBING FUTURE GENERATIONS?
ACT TOGETHER! PROTECT OUR HERITAGE! AND OUR COMMUNITIES!
The NSW government has changed the laws governing
planning, environmental assessment and heritage
protection. The Planning Minister now has extraordinary
power to override local councils, community wishes and
expert opinion.
Citizens across NSW are angry. Community groups
are fighting. We’re losing because the laws are stacked
against us.
Hear Jack Mundey, Shane Withington and speakers from
political parties, National Trust and community groups

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dear Fellow National Trust Members

Our finite and irreplaceable heritage fabric is disappearing from our towns and cities. On September 13 we all have to vote in the local government elections. Many councils will have a large turnover, with councillors retiring. It’s never been more important to have candidates elected who understand and genuinely support heritage issues. As a former Newcastle City Councillor (1995-2004) I know how hard it is to get the heritage message across to fellow councillors, staff and the community. With the NSW Government’s recent “reforms” of planning and heritage legislation, the task of protecting and identifying heritage has become even much harder, as indicated by the Trust’s campaign led by our President, Dr. Zeny Edwards. Candidates may claim to support heritage, but the acid test is whether they are prepared, in the face of development pressures, to vote to protect heritage items against demolition or unsympathetic change. It’s important to look at candidates’ CVs and past records. Councils need committed heritage supporters. The Trust’s Sydney headquarters staff has played a leadership role in the long community campaign to save the nationally significant, coastal mining village of Catherine Hill Bay from gross over development. We understand that Federal Heritage and Environment Minister Peter Garrett (who recently saved Nobbys from an unacceptable, in heritage terms, development proposal) has expressed an interest in the issue. Will the State Government cave in to development pressures?Newcastle City Council has just reopened Fort Scratchley to the public, with free admission, after several years and $ 12 million of Federal funds spent in conservation works prior to the handover to Council. It looks splendid, the restoration work was impeccable, the views are magnificent and the tunnels are reopened (for a modest fee) and staffed by volunteers from Fort Scratchley Historical Society. The only negative side is the large, intrusive multi-purpose centre nearby, erected without input or approval from the elected council or genuine community consultation. It is necessary for fundraising activities but its poorly chosen site makes it blight on what is otherwise a very positive heritage outcome for the region.
The former Newcastle Post office is another concern. It has been empty since being closed in 2002 and the out-of-town speculators who own it have left it to rot since they gained development approval in 2006 to convert it to a hotel. Its condition is a disgrace- boarded up, with its stonework covered in graffiti and squatters in residence .It was listed on the State Heritage Register in 2000 and consequently, its protection is a clear State Government (not Council) responsibility but they appear reluctant to take any action. Its best future use, in my view, would be in the ownership of our University, as part of their strategy of closer links between “town and gown” in Newcastle CBD.
Newcastle City Hall (completed in 1929) is one of the region’s cultural jewels and a major architectural achievement of Henry Eli White, who also designed the nearby Civic Theatre, Sydney’s State Theatre and many other (mostly demolished) cinemas in Australia, his native New Zealand and The USA. Its good news that Newcastle City Council has just endorsed a conservation management plan (the first draft was completed back in 2002!) to guide future maintenance and conservation works. Council has a daunting task to conserve the crumbling sandstone facade, estimated to cost about $11 million. The building was meant to have a rendered fa├žade, but a last minute change resulted in sandstone being used. The spalling decay of large areas of its surface was the result of a poor decision to use cheaper iron rather than stainless steel or bronze for the tie pins. The iron has gradually rusted and expanded, blowing and cracking the stone work. Council is negotiating to procure rare “yellow block” sandstone from the Government’s dwindling quarry stock for the sections of stone that must be replaced. The task will take several years and the Trust will keep a watching and supportive brief.
Best wishes

Margaret Henry
Chair

Monday, August 18, 2008

THE HARRY BOYLE, OAM Memorial Lecture

This lecture will be delivered by Julian Bickersteth Managing Director of International Services. His work has included projects in Kuwait, Vietnam, Philippines & Antarctica. "Conserving the movable stuff- why contents are so important to historic buildings". Lecture will take place at Brough House, Church Street, Maitland, Friday, 5 September 2008 at 6pm. Bookings essential, rsvp by 31 August, on 49336452 or Ian 49320518. Admission $20 (members) $25 (non-members)Drinks and savories will be served prior to lecture.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Maitland Architecture Hearths and Homes- Book launch


Book 'Maitland Architecture Hearths and Homes' 19 Decades of Residential Design by Cynthia Hunter was launched at Grossmann House on 18 June 2008. There was a great turn out at the house and congratulations to Cynthia on a comprehensive work on the various styles of architectual design and the history behind many of these individual dwellings. This book was a project of the Maitland City Heritage Group.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ministers Decision May 2008 - Nobbys Lighthouse


Congratulations to Minister Garrett on his courageous decision to reject the Nobbys Lighthouse development at Newcastle, NSW.
This is a positive decision and as federal Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts it is encouraging that he has given due consideration to the Heritage impact statement (HIS) by independent internationally recognised heritage architects Clive Lucas and Stapleton.
The committee supports appropriate adaptive reuse of the site that safeguards the integrity and iconic nature of the historic lighthouse and Macquarie Pier .
It is important that Newcastle applies environmental leadership and sustainable decision making to its limited number of heritage sites. This will create immense social value to unique assets such as Nobbys Lighthouse.
The Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust is grateful to the Minister for his support of Nobbys 'Whybaygamba', a special place to Indigenous people, Novocastrians and the nation.

8 April 2008 Nobbys Headland Development impacting on Nobbys Lighthouse a Commonwealth Heritage Place



The Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust supports the Ministers intention to refuse the application to redevelop the Nobbys Headland for commercial purposes in EPBC 2006/3179.
The expert report commissioned by Clive Lucas Stapleton 2007 recommends against approval, even with conditions. The heritage impact on the oldest functioning lighthouse in Australia will be permanent.
Clive Lucas confirms the Lighthouse is intact and free standing. “Nobby’s Lighthouse is the lighthouse built on Nobby’s Headland in 1857... It remains highly intact and operative to this date."
The proposal will distort the way the lighthouse has always been seen and depicted, and will distort the image of the lighthouse by building up around it. The Trust urges the refusal of this development because it will destroy our commonwealth heritage icon. There is an opportunity to preserve the iconic Nobbys headland from adverse development for the enjoyment of future generations of Australians, if this development is rejected.

‘Our Place’ National Trust Heritage Festival 2008

(artwork by Pat Davidson)
Friday 4 – 20 April
Coal River : Art Exhibition
Local artists were invited to interpret the Coal River Precinct: from Nobbys to the Convict Stockade. Exhibition opening and launch of the Coal River Precinct Walk brochure

Saturday 5 April 9.30 – 4pm
Family History Open Day
Newcastle Family History Society Mechanics Institute, 68 Elder St, Lambton
Saturday 5 April 11am – 12
The Hunter Street Mall: Heritage and Development: How can they co-exist?
Join with the Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust to examine the impact of proposed Changes in the Mall.

Sunday 6 April 2 – 4 pm
Coal River Precinct Walk
Experience living history with
Newcastle University Coal River Working Party members, who developed the concept of the Coal River Heritage Park, recently nominated for National Heritage listing: includes heritage icons Nobbys and Fort Scratchley
Wednesday 9 – Saturday 17 May Mon- Fri 9 30- 8 pm Sat 9 30- 2pm
Schools Exhibition ‘Our Place’:
Schools in the Wallsend area will display the rich heritage of Wallsend in an exhibition at Wallsend District Library.

Thursday 10 – 13 April
Heritage Hunter Expo 2008 at the Newcastle Show
Community history and heritage groups showcase the Hunter’s rich heritage.
Entertainment Centre, Newcastle Showground
Saturday 12 April 2pm
Heritage Foreshore Walk
Newcastle and Hunter District Historical Society
Sunday 13 April 10am
University of Newcastle: Future Heritage Buildings
The Australian Architectural Society will conduct a tour of the campus of the University, rich in outstanding modern buildings including three Sulman award winners.
Monday 14 April 10 am - 12
Pubs & Publicans Walk
Newcastle Historical Society

Sunday 20 April 2pm
From the Hill to the Harbour: Places & People: a Heritage Walk
Well- known historian Rosemary Melville, will take you around the high side of the city to view historic homes and buildings.
19 – 20 April 10am – 4pm
Tomago House:’ Lights & time and our place’ Friends of Tomago House & Port Stephens Historical Society
Featuring a display of historic clocks and lights from the 1870s to 1930s.

19 – 20 April 11am – 4pm
Friends of Miss Porter’s House
Our Place: “We never threw anything out”
Step back in time: everything from teapots to televisions, to outdoor dunny to indoor flush toilet, reflecting ninety years of occupancy.
6 April 2pm
Grossmann House
Our Place: Maitland on Hunter Riverbank Walk
Join Maitland heritage tour leader Wayne Campbell along the heritage walkway.

Forum- Thursday 17 April 7- 9 pm
Newcastle City Hall, Hunter Room
Forum: Newcastle: Our Place, Past Present and Future
“Celebrate Newcastle as a Port City or become another Darling Harbor?”
Noted urban historian ,Professor Peter Spearritt, Centre for Applied History and Heritage, University of Queensland
“Globalisation and Heritage ”
Internationally recognised architect Professor Steffen Lehmann, School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle.
“Creating a Novocastrian Renaissance”
Gionni di Gravio , visionary and archivist , University of Newcastle, Chair of the University‘s Coal River Working Party

Celebrating 150 years- Nobbys Lighthouse



STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Nobbys Lighthouse is a unique Commonwealth Heritage Place and listed on the Commonwealth Heritage Register.
The erection of Nobbys lighthouse represents a significant advance in the navigational aids provided at the entrance to the Port of Newcastle.
Nobbys Lighthouse was built to replace the coal –fired beacon located on the Signal Hill that had operated since the earliest times in the convict settlement.
The Headland was formerly an Island called Whybaygamba by the aboriginal people and named Coal Island on the Barrallier Chart the first survey of the river and the abortive 1801 settlement and coal mines at Colliers Point.
Nobbys light became operational 1857- 58 and the coal fired beacon was extinguished
The Nobby headland was reduced in height from 62 metres to 28 metres to form a base for the Light and built dwellings for Signalman.
The lighthouse site is associated with the Penal settlement of Newcastle (1801 & 1804), convict settlement and industry (coal mining)
The place illustrates its association with Australian Navigational and defence history, and also has a high degree of significance in regard to convict labour that took place on the site and association with other convict built sites in the precinct (Breakwater).
The lighthouse is associated with the changes of the headland.
HISTORIC VALUE
Aboriginal people used this site Whybaygamba (Nobbys) for fishing and hunting and have special spiritual significance. It is also the location of the dreamtime story of the immensely large kangaroo that occasionally shakes himself causing the island to tremble and large pieces to fall.
The place is significant in the history of Australia because of its convict, military, navigational and early European associations.
Illustrates the settlements industrial past as an early site of coal mining and is closely associated with Australia’s navigation and coal industry for 150 years.
AESTHETIC VALUE
Nobbys lighthouse has a particular aesthetic character valued by the community. Historical visual sources show the lighthouse in its early days. Frank Hurley and others have produced artworks that depict Nobbys lighthouse. Aesthetically Nobbys lighthouse is a rare example of colonial architecture (purpose built for the headland). The precinct is an outstanding landmark and continues to be an ‘icon’.
(The site is significant in demonstrating the aesthetic value of the lighthouse and its surrounds, including views to and from the headland).
The lighthouse site has significant heritage value, because the structure has remained intact with minimal changes to its fabric. The nearby Coal River Heritage Precinct adds to the prominence of the lighthouse and contributes to its quality and aesthetics.
SCIENTIFIC VALUE
The erection of Nobbys lighthouse represents a significant advance in the navigational aids provided at the entrance to the Port of Newcastle. It has a high degree of scientific value in that the site provides archaeological, engineering and navigational history and future research into all of these areas can provide new knowledge about the site. There is further potential for archaeological research in regard to the sites unseen features such as the ‘chambers for blowing up Nobbys’ (Keene, W. survey) as well as Aboriginal and other early European archaeological evidence.
SOCIAL VALUE
The lighthouse already contributes greatly to the community, providing a special ambience. The lighthouse has significant social value and is well known by ship’s masters and mariners throughout the world.
The community has a strong association with Nobbys lighthouse and the cultural heritage of the site, it is significant to locals who understand its continuous history and use. The community use of the site has been restricted but only completely denied in the year 2000. It is a well known place and should be reopened to the general public so that more people can experience the lighthouse and its surroundings. Nobbys is set in a recreational and social place where large numbers of people go to gather and promenade and have strong social and cultural ties to the place. It would be wrong to close off the lighthouse surrounds of this significant Heritage Place and impair its heritage significance predominantly for private patrons who would also not be able to have the benefit of the heritage experience.
DEGREE OF SIGNIFICANCE
RARITY

The Nobbys lighthouse is rare in that it represents the first navigational light on the east coast of Australia, replacing the earlier coal fired beacon that existed on Signal Hill (Fort Scratchley) in 1804. The existing lighthouse is one of the oldest operational lighthouse on the east coast.
The Nobbys headland was reduced in height from 62 metres to 28 metres to form a base for the Light and build accommodation for staff.
The place is a reminder of the use of the site (convict, industry, military, navigational) and demonstrate the transition of the area and development of Navigational and changing use of this site.
Nobbys Lighthouse is a unique Commonwealth Heritage Place
REPRESENTIVENESS
The place is representative of the specific use and long history of the site ‘lighthouse’ and of the people associated with navigation in Australia, such as lighthouse keepers.
It is a symbol and representative of the transformation of the landscape (beacon to lighthouse) shaped by convict labour and early European occupation.
INTEGRITY
The place continues to be used as a ‘lighthouse’. The surrounding landscape has remained relatively unchanged adding to the sites integrity. It is only this year that the headland as it is seen from the city has been altered by a scar for earthworks for a widened roadway and erosion control. The integrity of the lighthouse and its surroundings is essential.
AUTHENTICITY
The site has a high degree of authenticity because of its original use as a lighthouse since 1857. The history of the place is authentic as documented in sketches and written literature about the use of the place.

Pizzey Report- Conservation and Cultural Management Plan. March 2008.


The Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust support the Coal River Precinct Conservation and Cultural Tourism Management Plan (draft 2008).
The plan sets out many relevant strategies and recommendations in regard to conservation and management issues of the Coal River precinct that contains significant historic sites. The Coal River precinct is an important national historic site and this plan will help to ensure that the city’s historic sites are considered in future conservation planning and tourism management.
Further the plan will enrich the city’s cultural heritage and potentially attract a tourism market that seeks out historic destinations, and experiences. This aspect of tourism is an untapped market, and this plan, and interpretative strategies offer this exciting opportunity, and promotes heritage.
Support of the following:-
*key interpretative concepts such as the Newcastle sky canons and interpreting the birthplace site and Shortland’s camp.
*Interpretation of key positions of Fort Scratchley, Nobbys and Pilot Station.
*Audio interpretative devices an effective way in telling stories.
*Supports the plans of an Interpretative Centre, preferable in area of TS Tobruk.
*Need for expert and professional heritage advice to guide and implement Conservation Management Plan related to the precinct.
*7.6.1 Of plan, “Statutory –Commonwealth, included on the Register of the National Estate are TS Tobruk and Fort Scratchley” (currently Commonwealth owned). This section should also include Nobbys headland and lighthouse that are on the Commonwealth heritage list and the Register of the National Estate.
*Part 8.4 of plan should be reviewed in light of recent research “Where Did Ensign Barrallier Camp in 1801”, by Professor John Fryer of the University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party. This report suggests the likely Newcastle birth place position to be at the base of Fort Scratchley, an area which has the potential for interesting and creative interpretive displays. This plan is necessary in order for appropriate outcomes to be gained for the Coal River Heritage Precinct that balances heritage conservation and future tourism.

Coal River National Nomination


The Hunter Regional Committee of the National Trust supports the nomination of the Coal River Heritage Park to be selected for National Heritage listing. This precinct is a unique national heritage site which has a rich early European and convict history and shows the transition from penal settlement to civil society.
The proposed Coal River Heritage Park marks a series of important transitions in Australia’s journey to nationhood; from government industry to private enterprise, from convict to free labour, from punishment to profit, from a natural to a human-fashioned landscape. The Coal River Heritage Park tells these stories in a dramatic fashion; through its changing landforms shaped by the demands of industry, through its archaeological remains in tact and in situ, and through the continued and inescapable presence of a bustling working harbour.
The area retains significant natural and cultural landmarks including Nobbys Head, Flagstaff Hill, Newcastle Harbour and the Hunter River. These landmarks are of outstanding heritage significance for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. At the heart of Newcastle city, the Park is filled with people daily, and represents a remarkable fusion of heritage and the everyday. Such a highly accessible and culturally-valued landscape allows for a creative engagement with its Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage. The National Trust has a long history in supporting conservation of this area.