I have today informed the applicants for a proposed development next to the historic Nobbys
Lighthouse in Newcastle of my decision not to allow this particular project because of the
impacts it would have on the heritage values of the lighthouse.
My decision is made under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999 and follows wide consultation with the developers, business groups, heritage experts
and the community, as well as a visit to the site earlier this year.
I have given full and thorough consideration to all of the information I have received through
this process as well as the more than 450 written submissions made by the Newcastle
community during a recent public consultation period.
On balance, I believe this particular development proposal would significantly damage the
heritage values of this Newcastle icon and the oldest surviving lighthouse in New South
Sensitive developments around historic places can and do draw thousands of tourists to
heritage sites around Australia.
However, it is important that any such development does not compromise what is so special
about these historic and iconic places.
My decision is therefore based on the concerns I have for this particular proposal to impact
on the heritage values of the lighthouse.
This decision does not mean there cannot be development of the site in the future.
I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this process and note that a common
theme of the public submissions on the proposal was the desire of the people of Newcastle
to have to access to Nobbys Lighthouse.
I support this sentiment but it is important in finding a way for the site to be more accessible
that we do not do it in a way that damages the precious historical and heritage values of the
My Department will therefore be available to provide advice to ensure the heritage values of
the lighthouse are fully considered in any future application or proposal to improve access to
The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts
19 May 2008