City’s new heritage strategy gets tick from community and Council

28 Oct 2020

City of Newcastle is better placed to protect, promote and restore Newcastle’s 700 heritage items, eight heritage conservation areas and 23 archaeological sites, following the adoption of an updated Heritage Strategy.

The Heritage Strategy 2020-2030 was endorsed by Council on Tuesday night and sets the vision, objectives and measurable outcomes to protect and promote heritage in Newcastle, and provides a framework for managing the city’s historic assets.

Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz chaired the Heritage Working Party that provided advice on the strategy and said City of Newcastle was dedicated to ensuring local Indigenous and European heritage continues to be valued, enhanced and celebrated.

“Our city has a unique mix of heritage conservation areas, archaeological sites, heritage-listed buildings and places that are recognised and protected for their character and significance,” Cr Winney-Baartz said.

“With this strategy, City of Newcastle will lead by example by ensuring that heritage is given due consideration in City projects and development assessments, with decision-making informed by community engagement and facilitated by staff training.

“In addition, the updated strategy better considers and recognises the Awabakal and Worimi peoples’ ancient and ongoing connection with the land.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Newcastle’s significant heritage places are a unique historical resource essential for the continuing educational, cultural and economic enrichment of the region. 

“City of Newcastle will invest in the promotion and care of these assets as part of the City’s economic and cultural development,” Cr Nelmes said.

“The new strategy emphasises our rich Aboriginal and European heritage and the important role the City’s public exhibitions and performances play at our museum, art gallery, libraries and theatres, all of which celebrate our cultural heritage.

“The Heritage Strategy 2020-2030 will also place us in a stronger position to obtain funding from government and non-government sources to undertake heritage projects.”

The draft Heritage Strategy was placed on public exhibition from 15 June to 27 July 2020. Fifty-five written and online submissions were received from the community and organisations such as The National Trust. 

Elements of the Strategy relating to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage were also reviewed by the Guraki Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

Feedback was supportive of the strategy’s vision and content overall, with a number of suggestions implemented to help clarify and strengthen the final document.