Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon expressed disappointment that the Minister for Heritage is delaying work on achieving heritage listing of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct until the first quarter of 2013, following a meeting with Minister Burke in Canberra last week.
A Greens motion calling for the national heritage listing of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, Australia's oldest existing female convict establishment passed the Senate in mid October.
"The Federal Heritage Minister Mr Tony Burke discussed with me the need for heritage listing of this precinct but explained he had other priorities now and that he will address the issue in the first quarter of next year.
"The problem with Minister Burke's timetable is that the O'Farrell government's push to develop the site, signalled in the master plan for the heritage precinct, may well make heritage listing at some future time an impotent act.
"It is tragic that a site akin to Port Arthur in Tasmania is being left to rot.
"Time is of the essence for this precious collection of buildings with their unique history.
"Minister Burke cannot afford to shunt their listing off to a later date.
"If the Minister's comment to me that he is "enthusiastic" about the nomination is genuine, he will ensure the listing is now given high priority, unlike when the application was made by the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Association in December 2011," Senator Rhiannon said.