Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MEDIA RELEASE National Trust Welcomes James Fletcher Hospital Announcement- 28 June, 2010

The National Trust is delighted that the NSW government has today announced they are moving towards listing James Fletcher Hospital in Newcastle on the State Heritage Register.

National Trust Advocacy Manager, Graham Quint, said the move is an important one that sends a clear message about saving historical heritage sites for the benefit of future generations.

“The Fletcher Hospital site was put on the Australia’s Heritage at Risk list in 2008 by the National Trust in an attempt to help save the historical site for the future,” Mr Quint said.

“At the time, development in the Newcastle CBD significantly threatened heritage of the region. For example, Kirkwood House was demolished without warning. This was despite heritage listings which proved to not adequately protect the site. This was despite the rich convict and coal mining history of the site.

“Today’s announcement reinforces the message that these historical sites are important to the community and should be protected.”

The James Fletcher Hospital has been used to provide mental health services to the region for almost 140 years. The site will continue to be used for the delivery of health services, while recognising the historical significance of the site.
The Trust congratulates Jodi McKay, state Member for Newcastle, for her pivotal role in working with the Hunter New England Area Health Service and the local community to achieve this balance while securing the sites nomination for state heritage listing.
The Trust also congratulates the University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Group and its own National Trust Hunter Regional Committee for the years of work and research into the Fletcher Hospital precinct.

Media Contact Anastasia Stomo 9258 0131

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