The State Heritage Council has recommended that the world-famous Tarwyn Park property – in NSW’s Bylong Valley – should be considered for State Heritage listing and the Minister for Environment and Heritage has confirmed the property is under active consideration for listing.
Tarwyn Park is the home of ‘Natural Sequence Farming’ and if listed it would become just the 2nd property in NSW to be placed on the State Heritage Register for ‘agricultural research significance’.
A formal nomination was made to the State Heritage Council in early October, and the minutes which have just been released show that the Council concluded that it: “….supports investigation of the potential significance of the site….consider that an independent review to investigate significance would be appropriate in this instance”.
A letter from the Minister for Environment and Heritage to the Bylong Valley Protection Alliance, which has been obtained by Lock the Gate, confirms the property is under active consideration.
Tarwyn Park is under threat from the proposed Bylong Coal Project with the owners of the project, Korean mining company KEPCO, having acquired ownership of the property. The Heritage Council recommends that the Planning Assessment Commission tasked with assessing the Bylong Project should obtain an independent assessment of the significance of the property.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage – in its submission on Tarwyn Park to the State Heritage Committee – state that Tarwyn Park may be of state significance
- for its role in colonial settlement of the Central West, first settled by William Lee of Bylong Station
- for its continuous connection to thoroughbred horse breeding and the development of the horse racing industry
- for the technical achievements of Peter Andrews OAM who developed Natural Sequence Farming on the property.
Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed news about the heritage assessment, but called for the progress of the Bylong Coal Project through the planning system to halt until the assessment is completed.
Nic Clyde from Lock the Gate Alliance said: “This is a very significant step and confirms the outstanding heritage significance of Tarwyn Park – it also escalates concerns about just how inappropriate it is for a damaging new coal mine to be located on this site and adjoining areas.
“We’re calling on the NSW Minister for Planning to now put a halt on the assessment of the Bylong Coal project until the full heritage significance of Tarwyn Park can be assessed.
Peter Andrews OAM, pioneer of Natural Sequence Farming at Tarwyn Park said “We’ve always believed this property has unique heritage values, and we’re pleased to see that vindicated, but it’s equally clear that KEPCO Coal have no idea how to manage this landscape to preserve those values”.
Peter Stevens, a researcher with Newcastle University's Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, has said previously that Tarwyn Park should be heritage listed:
"What Peter Andrews has done at Tarwyn Park is a whole of landscape proposition. Disturb the landscape, disturb its systems and you end up with an unknown outcome".
 NSW Heritage Council minutes, 5 October 2016, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/heritagebranch/heritage/heritagecouncil/shr-committee-minutes-oct2016.PDF
 Iconic rural property Tarwyn Park should be given heritage listing, says study by Newcastle University, ABC, Ben Cheshire, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-04/tarwyn-park-should-be-given-heritage-listing,-says-newcastle-uni/6440048