Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon says a recent fire destroying a wing of the 1840s Roman Catholic Orphanage should act as new impetus for Federal Heritage Minister Mr Tony Burke to fast track national heritage listing of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct.
"This sad event shows how this unique collection of buildings remains vulnerable to fire, vandalism and profit hungry developers while both federal and NSW governments stand idly by," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Heritage listing of the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct would kick start a more serious consideration of the funding and resources required to preserve this site for future generations.
"I was disappointed that the Heritage Minister Mr Tony Burke told me late last year that he would not be considering national heritage listing until 2013.
"The time is ripe for Minister Burke to do his job and protect the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct by approving national heritage listing immediately.
"The risk now is that demolition not restoration will be the easy option exercised by the NSW Corrective Services, compromising proper care of our cultural heritage and the history of children stolen from the families and put into institutionalised care," Senator Rhiannon said.
Convenor of the Parramatta Greens Phil Bradley said:
"A moratorium on any demolition is needed to create time and space to consider and debate how best to rebuild the damaged buildings, not further destroy them. It was done after the St Patrick's Cathedral fire and must also be done here!
"Surely the NSW government must act now, to do what it was previously urged to do. That is, to provide resources urgently for proper site security and long overdue building maintenance.
"In the longer term Premier O'Farrell must put irreplaceable heritage above a quick buck for local developers," Mr Bradley said.