Dairy Industry Study and Exhibition

Dairying has been a significant industry within the Eurobodalla Shire since European settlement in terms of produce, employment and shaping of the physical landscape.  Economic changes such as deregulation of the dairy industry in 2000 and developmental pressure to open rural land for residential and "hobby farm" activities gave rise to concerns that there was the potential to alter the appearance of the landscape and may lead to the deterioration of dairy farm buildings.

The need for a scoping study of the dairy industry in the Eurobodalla Shire arose from the historical importance of the industry, and the threats to the heritage fabric of that industry, which arise from the closing of dairies.  The heritage fabric elements within the Shire include farms, barns, feed silos, milking stalls, feed stalls, sheds, barns, cisterns, wells and cheese and butter factories. These elements developed in response to the market opportunities offered locally, as well as in Sydney and the Australian Capital Territory and were facilitated by changes in technology and transport. Additionally, the cultural landscape of the Shire has been shaped by the industry, and this has contributed to the scenic attraction of the shire as a tourist destination.

The 2006 scoping study was conducted as the first part of a project to assess and protect the significant dairy industry heritage within the Eurobodalla Shire.  The following stages were directed at identifying those significant dairy industry properties, sites and moveable heritage which are 'at risk', and pursue the documentation and conservation of those places.  There was no intention within the study to place further restriction on sites related to an industry facing pressures through regulation, competition for land and competition for markets.  The purpose of the study was to document and conserve significant aspects of the dairy industry, which has played such a pivotal role along the NSW South Coast, and in particular, within the Eurobodalla Shire.