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This theme reports on Council’s strategic planning for, and implementation of initiatives to conserve and enhance the physical, social and cultural heritage of Leichhardt and to facilitate increased community understanding and appreciation of the value of heritage assets with the LGA.

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Heritage provides links to our past and is integral to our “sense of place”. Leichhardt’s heritage incorporates Aboriginal and European cultures expressed through social and physical contexts. Leichhardt’s physical heritage includes places, buildings, landscapes and public works. 

Approximately 55% of Leichhardt’s LGA area is included within heritage conservation areas that contain almost 15 000 individual dwellings. Four Aboriginal sites are listed as heritage items in Leichhardt’s LEP, reinforcing links to Aboriginal culture, knowledge and the environment. Social elements of local heritage include the living cultural aspects in everyday life. Demands for redevelopment can be at odds with heritage objectives, increasingly under pressure from escalating land values, population increase and vandalism. Recent efforts by Council to integrate heritage and sustainability, exemplified by the successful solar PV at Leichhardt Town Hall, help promote heritage conservation.

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IMPLEMENTATION

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Program

In 2012-13, Council has continued its ongoing community engagement activities through Leichhardt’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee (LATSIC). In 2012-13, community engagement was enhanced through the development of the draft Reconciliation Action Pan (RAP), the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) and partnership with Gadigal Information Service (known as Koori Radio).

New Local Environmental Plan (LEP)

clock-tower-soeCouncil has prepared a new comprehensive Local Environmental Plan (LEP) to replace the Leichhardt Local Environmental Plan 2000. LEPs are the primary planning tool to shape the future of communities. Through zoning and development controls, they allow councils and other consent authorities to manage the ways in which land is used to enhance heritage value. The objectives of protecting and conserving townscapes and enhancing the character of places and landscapes contained in the Leichhardt LEP 2000 will be reflected in the draft LEP 2013, which sets out provisions to conserve the environmental heritage of the Leichhardt municipality including heritage items, heritage conservation areas, archaeological sites and places of Aboriginal heritage significance.

New Development Control Plan (DCP)

Council has prepared a new comprehensive Development Control Plan (DCP) to replace the 12 separate DCPs Council has currently. DCPs are detailed guidelines that prescribe the controls that apply to a particular type of development or in a particular area to manage the impacts on heritage from development.

Review of Heritage Inventory Sheets

As part of an ongoing commitment to increase the amount of heritage information available to staff and the public, Council has commissioned a review of existing Heritage Inventory Sheets.

Heritage Festival Walk

Community-run guided heritage walks are offered as part of the annual Heritage Festival located at the Hunter Baillie Memorial Church, Annandale. Leichhardt Council provides ongoing financial support for the festival and walks.

Oral History Project

The Leichhardt Library runs the Oral History Project, which aims to record memoirs of local people including long-time residents, artists, writers, community leaders, politicians, business owners or anyone with knowledge and stories relating to the history of Leichhardt Council’s people and places.

Heritage Item Upgrades

callan-park-gate-soeIn response to residents’ concerns about the ongoing maintenance of the heritage Winkworth Steps, including a lack of lighting at night, potential destabilisation of the wall, and unsympathetic fencing, Council has installed a hooded flood-light to increase visibility and safety at night and problematic vegetation has been removed by the Parks Maintenance Team. In 2011-12 Council’s Heritage Planner and Heritage Officer recommended that a suitably qualified heritage consultant/ historian be engaged to provide written advice regarding the refurbishment of the fencing. The heritage report was completed in 2012-13, and presented to Leichhardt’s Heritage Committee in August 2013.