Minister refuses to grant interim heritage protection for iconic Hunter Valley property Tarwyn Park

NSW Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton has refused a request to provide interim heritage protection for Tarwyn Park following advice from the Heritage Council of NSW that there is no “immediate threat” to the property. 

The move comes despite a Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) finding this month that the properties [Tarywn Park and Iron Tank] have greater heritage significance than has been previously documented by the applicant, or considered by the Department or Heritage Council.

“We are disappointed by this decision,” Lock the Gate spokesperson Nic Clyde said.

“There is an obvious immediate threat to Tarwyn Park in leaving the management of a it with a company that has an interest in destroying the heritage significance of the place.

“Part of the value of Tarwyn Park is that it is a living laboratory for Natural Sequence Farming.

“Active management is needed to maintain the place, and there is a real question over KEPCO’s commitment to that management, given they want to mine the property for coal.”

The July minutes of the State Heritage Council confirm that a PAC-commissioned heritage assessment concluded that Tarwyn Park and Iron Tank has potential for State Heritage Register listing and that the nomination process for State Heritage Register listing is progressing.

“Progression of the State Heritage Listing nomination through the system is good news, but it’s a big worry to have the heritage values of this special place being managed by the coal mining company with the most to gain from the loss and degradation of the heritage values harboured by Tarwyn Park,” Mr Clyde said.

“KEPCO is downplaying the heritage significance of these properties because they want to dig up the properties to build a new coal mine, but we expect the Heritage Minister to use her powers to stop this damage, given the iconic significance of Tarwyn Park.

“It is clear that Tarwyn Park and Iron Tank deserve the protection that a listing on the State Heritage Register would afford.”