Lee questions assistant secretary, Mr Johnston, from the Department of Environment's Wildlife, Heritage and Marine, about progress on the assessment of the Parramatta Female Factory for national heritage listing.
Senator RHIANNON: I want to move on to the Parramatta Female Factory precinct. In August last year Parramatta Council was split over the proposal to build about 4,000 apartments in the heritage precinct site. The minister announced that the site would be assessed for national heritage listing. We have these two issues going on that obviously impact on each other. Was the nomination actively assessed for inclusion on the Heritage Council's work plan?
Mr Johnston: The Female Factory has been added to the Heritage Council's work plan and they are undertaking that assessment at the moment. At their current timing, it is anticipated that they might consider a first look at the assessment-what they call a 'might have value' stage-in the middle of this year, which would then trigger some public consultation in the second half of this calendar year.
Senator RHIANNON: So it is on the work plan?
Mr Johnston: Yes. The Heritage Council is actively assessing it now and we expect, barring any unforeseen things, that at their meeting in the middle of the year they would consider what they call the 'might have value' stage; that is, whether the precinct meets the national threshold for national heritage value. If they consider that it might do so, that triggers a public consultation process to get feedback on the proposed national heritage values of the place.