Kurrumbede nomination for State Heritage Register to be further investigated

My Country: The Heritage Council's State Heritage Register Committee has given "preliminary consideration" to the proposal.
My Country: The Heritage Council's State Heritage Register Committee has given "preliminary consideration" to the proposal.

An attempt to heritage-list a property of the late poet Dorothea Mackellar has passed the first hurdle.

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) will carry out "further investigation" into the nomination for Kurrumbede, near Gunnedah.

It will also meet with the property owner, Whitehaven Coal, which said it had "acknowledged the local significance of Kurrumbede and [had] committed to its preservation".

In late 2018, the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society submitted the nomination to the OEH for the Kurrumbede house, outbuildings and grounds to be included on the State Heritage Register.

In a letter to the society in May this year, the OEH said the Heritage Council's State Heritage Register Committee had given "preliminary consideration" to the nomination, "with awareness" of the Vickery Coal project and extension application.

The OEH had "resolved that the complex is likely to be of state heritage significance".

A spokesperson told the Leader the statutory listings process "had not commenced and will not start until the Heritage Council resolve to give its notice of intention".

"The next steps will be an assessment of the significance of the item, consultation with all relevant parties, and consideration of an appropriate boundary that encapsulates the likely state significant heritage values," they said.

Whitehaven said it had been contacted by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and had "recently been invited to have an early discussion on the nomination".

"We'll meet to understand the nomination process and the implications for Kurrumbede and Whitehaven as the property owner, which will allow us to consider the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society's nomination for heritage listing," a Whitehaven spokesperson said.

Society president Juliana McArthur said the group was "pleased" the nomination had "passed its first assessment hurdle".

"The committee considers there is an excellent chance that Kurrumbede and its outbuildings will gain listing on the State Heritage Register for its preservation and enhancement," she told the NVI.

"Whitehaven's stated commitment to Kurrumbede's preservation, as property owner, will carry significant weight in its discussions with the department and we trust this will assist in achieving the listing outcome."

Inclusion on the state heritage register would make the property eligible for government grants for maintenance.