ACTEA would like to thank the 117 people who made submissions and the over 2,000 who provided face-book support in regard to the Heritage Listing of the Equestrian Park cross-country course. We have also had the unqualified support of Sport and Recreation Services.
As previously forecast, the ACT Heritage Council met on 19 November and decided to place the Yarralumla Woolshed and Outbuildings on the ACT Heritage Register. Significantly, however, Council also agreed to amend part of the Statement of Significance for the place from the version published on 9 April:
A large part of the community appreciation of the Woolshed is its rustic rural aesthetic that is evocative of Australia’s pastoral heritage. This romanticised vision of the past has been emphasized by the landscaping designed under Richard Clough as the NCDC’s first landscape architect in the 1960s.
A large part of the community appreciation of the Woolshed is its rustic rural aesthetic that is evocative of Australia’s pastoral heritage. This romanticised vision of the past is emphasized by the surrounding ‘borrowed’ landscape designed as a public equestrian park containing a cross-country course with tree plantings conforming to the National Capital Development Commissions Lake Plan and Open Space System.
This change uncouples the cross-country course from the Woolshed and supports the ACT Equestrian Association’s argument that the landscaping on the cross-country course was never intended to serve as a backdrop for the Woolshed but to to enhance the equestrian facility.
As part of the decision, the Heritage Council has also addressed its Chairman’s offer to include in Heritage Guidelines a clear indication of the activities associated with the development of the cross-country course which can continue to take place without reference to the Council for approval. While unwilling to include such a list in the Heritage Guidelines themselves, we are told for practical administrative reasons, the Council has undertaken to produce official free-standing ‘Advice’, referred to in the Guidelines, to achieve the same outcome.
In close consultation with the National Capital Horse Trials Association, ACTEA has provided the Heritage Council with a first cut of all potential structural activities it can envisage on the cross-country course.
The process is some way from finished but can be summarised as follows:
- November – The Draft Heritage Guidelines will go out for a public consultation period of four weeks with the issuing of a Consultation Notice under the Legislation Act 2001
- Before the end of November 2015 – Draft Advice based on the Draft Heritage Guidelines and correspondence between ACTEA and the council will be provided to ACTEA and Sport and Recreation Services for comment.
- Late-December 2015 – once the Draft Heritage Guidelines public consultation period has concluded, all comments will be considered and any changes based on feedback drafted. If there are any significant changes to the Guidelines affecting the cross-country course ACTEA and Sport and Recreation Services will be consulted. This, along with all of the comments, will be provided to the Minister, who will either provide direction to proceed, or direct the Council to further consider issues raised during public consultation.
- Depending on the final version of the Heritage Guidelines, the Draft Advice may have to be edited to align with the Guidelines. ACTEA and Sport and Recreation Services will be consulted on any changes.
- 11 February 2016 – This is the first opportunity for the Council to adopt the Heritage Guidelines, which become official after they are notified as a Disallowable Instrument under the Legislation Act 2001. If the Council do not decide to make the Heritage Guidelines at this meeting (for instance, if further consideration was required), then it will be deferred to a later meeting.
Once the Heritage Guidelines have been notified, the Heritage Council can issue Advice based on them. It is only at this point that the Advice which lists a range of activities that the Council has previously noted is compatible with the heritage significance of the place, and has indicated are allowable activities, will be issued.
So, all being well, and there are potential hurdles in this process, this whole unnecessary experience, will be finalised by mid-2016.