With Parramatta Council bowing to pressure from the State government to vote down a motion to protect the iconic Parramatta Heritage Precinct the Greens are committed to working with the community to protect this priceless part of Australia’s history and heritage.

The Council vote which was lost on the casting vote of the Lord Mayor comes as the Liberal Government continues to push through the enormous 3,900 unit North Parramatta overdevelopment proposal, a development likely to trash amenity, heritage and environmental values in the area.

Greens MP and Heritage Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“It is inconceivable that on such a divisive issue the mayor has elected to use his casting vote to block attempts to achieve World Heritage Listing for the iconic Parramatta Female Factory.

“When state and local government so spectacularly fail to protect this potential world heritage site then it falls to the community to do the job. The Greens are wholly committed to working with the community to protect this essential part of our history and heritage.

“Without radical changes the proposed North Urban Transformation Project looks will substantially dwarf the heritage buildings in the area whilst degrading their value and amenity.

“The Parramatta Female Factory Precinct is one of the most historically significant sites in Australia which should be preserved and protected for generations to come, not destroyed for developer-driven profits.

“The Council seems to be operating from the same songbook as the State government which cannot conceive of development in the area that doesn’t trash heritage values.

“To date there has been insufficient consultation on the future of the Female Factory, with the local community simply asking for an opportunity to contribute their views of National heritage listing.

“Council had the opportunity here to engage in proper community consultation and commit to the adaptive re-use of precinct to ensure that this rich history remains a vibrant part of the Parramatta community.

“This is not the kind of vision needed for the development of Parramatta and can only result in a degraded and unsustainable overdevelopment model in the area.

“Parramatta should be developed with a future in mind as a dynamic tourism, culture and arts area, for this to occur heritage protections are vital,” Mr Shoebridge said.

For more information, see Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon’s motion for National Heritage Significance