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.


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.