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Eurobodalla Heritage Strategy

Our Vision

The Shire's environmental heritage is identified, promoted and sympathetically managed for present and future generations.


'Heritage tells us about place and tells us about identity.'
Professor Lawrence Nield,
Former Chair of the NSW Heritage Council.

Heritage is evidence of our history. Conserving our heritage helps us to understand our past, and to contribute to the lives of future generations. It gives us a sense of continuity and belonging to the place where we live. (Source: Heritage Division of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage)

Historical Context

The Dhurga speaking people of the Yuin nation have lived in this region for over 20,000 years. The landscape is part of their culture with Gulaga (formerly Mount Dromedary), Najanuka and Montague Island (Barunguba) having special significance. Many place names today are derived from their Aboriginal names.

River and sea transport was vital to early European settlement both for people and to send produce to market in Sydney, especially timber and cheese. Road transport was difficult and there were many rivers to cross so the main settlements developed where sea access was good.

The Eurobodalla Shire has a rich history in the dairy industry, mining, maritime, timber, quarrying and the defence of our coast in WWII.

Cattle and dairying were major industries along the south coast during the 19th century. From the 1920s or so onwards however tourism grew as increasing numbers of visitors from Canberra and beyond discovered the region's remarkable beauty and excellent fishing.

What is Heritage?

Heritage is evidence of our history. Conserving our heritage helps us to understand our past, and to contribute to the lives of future generations. It gives us a sense of continuity and belonging to the place where we live.

Cultural and environmental heritage is diverse and includes buildings, objects, monuments, Aboriginal places, gardens, bridges, landscapes, archaeological sites, shipwrecks, relics, streets, industrial structures and conservation precincts.

In more recent years there has been considerable attention paid to the 'intangible' aspects of cultural heritage, meaning the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills “as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith” that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.

(Source: UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003, Article 1).

It is important to note that when we use the word "heritage," we are talking about:

  • Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • built and natural heritage
  • tangible heritage (such as places, buildings or objects) and intangible heritage (such as stories and customs)

Heritage in the Eurobodalla

For over 20 years Eurobodalla Shire Council has conducted a highly successful heritage management program that is respected by the NSW Heritage Council and many other shires across New South Wales. Our success has been due in no small part to the enthusiastic support of the community and community groups.

At the time of adoption of this strategy Council had 373 heritage items and areas listed in its local environmental plans with a further three proposed for listing. Of these items, four are listed on the NSW State Heritage Register as being items of heritage significance to the state of New South Wales. Most heritage items, areas or places have been listed as a result of one of the following community based heritage studies:

Other heritage studies are available on this website.


You can download a copy of this strategy or click on the strategy headings below to read them in your web browser.

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Policy Framework

In New South Wales, the responsibility for managing and regulating cultural heritage is split between the state and local governments. Local government has responsibility for local heritage, through environmental planning instruments, regulatory services and community engagement activities.

The Eurobodalla Heritage Strategy is a strategic framework to guide Council’s approach to the management of heritage in the Eurobodalla Shire over the next four years.  It is drawn from its parent document the 2017 Community Strategic Plan – One Community (CSP).

Through the CSP, our community has expressed its aspiration that local heritage will be valued, enhanced and celebrated. This heritage strategy allows Council to articulate a framework for achieving this vision, and to meet its statutory responsibilities for managing local heritage.  It also supports alignment with the priorities of Council’s tourism plan.

All councils in NSW are required to develop short, medium and long term plans under the NSW Integrated Planning and Reporting (IPR) Framework. The Community Strategic Plan is a whole of community plan and is prepared by Council for the community.  Its purpose is to identify the community’s main priorities and aspirations for the future, and to provide strategies to achieve these goals.  To embrace and celebrate local history, cultural heritage and diversity is a strategy to achieve Outcome 2 Celebrated creativity, culture and learning of the CSP.

The CSP is implemented by Council’s four-year Delivery Program and one year Operational Plan which outline the activities and actions that are the responsibility of Council in achieving our community vision.  The management and promotion of our heritage is an identified activity within the Delivery Program 2017-21.

Our Partners

Eurobodalla Shire Council works closely with the community, including our three historical societies, and the Heritage Division of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to know, value and care for our heritage. Together we:

  • help local people to identify their important places and objects
  • manage Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • provide guidance on how to look after heritage items
  • support community heritage projects through advice, expertise and funding
  • maintain the Eurobodalla section of the State Heritage Inventory, an online list of all statutory heritage items, areas and places in NSW.

The work of the Heritage Division is in turn guided by the Heritage Council of NSW, a body appointed by the NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, to reflect a cross-section of community, government and conservation expertise.

Based on recommendations by the Heritage Division and the advice of the Eurobodalla Heritage Advisory Committee, this strategy identifies 32 actions for the period 2017-2021.

The following sections of this strategy list what Council will do in heritage conservation and promotion in our Shire over the next four years.  The active way in which we engage in heritage management requires ongoing resources.  Funding and community input is vital to our success in implementing our strategy.

1. Heritage Advisory Committee


  • Regular meetings of the Heritage Advisory Committee are held to provide a forum for dialogue related to the conservation of our Shire’s heritage and to ensure that the Committee are updated on heritage issues, and resolutions from these meetings are documented by Council.
  • Professional advice and dialogue on heritage items, policies, interpretation, studies, issues and strategies and other projects is available to Council in the management of our Shire’s heritage.


Continue to facilitate Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee.


  1. The Heritage Advisory Committee to assist Council by acting as a conduit between the general community and Council on heritage related matters.
  2. The Heritage Advisory Committee to provide advice to Council on heritage-related matters which are of interest to the community by providing expertise, local knowledge and guidance.
  3. The Heritage Advisory Committee to provide advice to Council on strategies to ensure the conservation of items listed in Council’s local environmental plans.
  4. The Heritage Advisory Committee to advise Council staff and the Heritage Advisor on matters relating to the implementation of the Council’s Heritage Strategy and assists Council with procuring and allocating funding.
  5. The members of the Heritage Advisory Committee participate in meetings, field trips and site visits as required in order to extend their knowledge of heritage items within the Eurobodalla.

Implementation of this strategy is subject to funding being allocated by Council and the Heritage Division.

The allocation of Council funds will enable staff and the Heritage Advisory Committee to seek additional funding through grants, thereby maximising and leveraging existing Council budgets.

2. Identification and listing of heritage items, areas and sites


  • Council’s local environmental plans include up-to-date lists of environmental heritage items and places.
  • The criteria and implications of the Council’s Significant Tree Register are clear and publicly available.


To ensure Council’s local environmental plans include up-to-date lists of environmental heritage items and areas and Council’s Significant Tree Register is up to date and its contents are a consideration in the assessment of development applications and Council works.


  1. Maintain a Potential Heritage Items List and investigate the heritage significance of nominated items as resources become available.
  2. Ensure Council’s local environmental plans are updated with new or amended heritage items and that property descriptions are kept up-to-date.
  3. Maintain Council’s Significant Tree Register on Council’s web site, develop guidelines and ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the guidelines and benefits of registration.

3. Heritage Advisory Service


  • Professional advice is provided by the Heritage Advisor to inform decision-making by staff and owners of heritage items in order to best manage, conserve and protect heritage in Eurobodalla.
  • Sustainable development is employed as a tool for the preservation and conservation of heritage items.
  • Sympathetic sustainable development contributes to the viability of heritage items


Continue to support and fund a Heritage Advisor to assist Council, the community and owners of heritage listed items.

Encourage the sustainable development of heritage items through the development assessment process.


  1. The primary task of the Heritage Advisor is to provide professional heritage advice that assists Council to work with the community to encourage good management and presentation of heritage conservation and urban design in the Eurobodalla.
  2. Provide a Heritage Advisory Service to the owners of listed heritage items at no cost to them. Development assessment staff to consider the following when assessing development applications:
    1. encouraging and supporting compatible adaptive reuse/infill/ sympathetic additions to heritage items; and
    2. sensitive application of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Disability Discrimination Act 1992 requirements for new development in a heritage building; and
    3. incorporation of energy efficient design solutions into heritage items for water, energy and waste.
  3. Encourage owners of heritage items to consider sustainable development options when preparing conservation/development applications for approval on heritage items.

The professional advice that the Heritage Advisor provides is critical to ensuring best practice management for environmental heritage in the Eurobodalla.

Heritage Advisory Service fund is $21,000 per annum (ESC $14,000 + Grants $7,000)

In 2016-2017 the heritage advisor visited 43 heritage places and provided 68 written advices to council officers, property owners and local tradespeople carrying out conservation works on heritage buildings.

4. Managing local heritage


  • Increased community awareness and engagement in the importance and relevance of our Shire’s environmental heritage.
  • Proactive heritage management.
  • Cultural Landscape Study supports the listing of the rural area to the north and west of Bodalla as a Conservation Area in the LEP.
  • Local history as recorded in the contemporary print media is a widely available resource.


To research, interpret and conserve the significant heritage items that have shaped the history and development of Eurobodalla.


  1. Support our local historical societies with funding for specific approved projects and the continuation of information sharing.
  2. Work with local historical societies and the wider community to undertake a thematic study of historic cemeteries and isolated graves of the Eurobodalla to investigate their potential heritage significance.
  3. Work with community groups to undertake architectural, photographic and mapping of heritage sites at risk in Eurobodalla as they become apparent.
  4. Promote Council’s flexible and sympathetic approach to conservation works or proposals.
  5. Work with landowners to adopt the directions of the Bodalla Cultural Landscape Study to guide any future development of the rural area to the north and west of Bodalla.
  6. Encourage and support the archiving of local newspapers on the Trove website.

General Heritage Management $8,000 per annum (including Historical Society Support grants)

5. Local Heritage Places Grants


  • Maximum funds employed to assist with conservation and maintenance works of heritage items.
  • The appreciation and heritage value of our Shire’s heritage is enhanced
  • Recognition of community members who do excellent work in preserving our Shire’s heritage.


Continue to coordinate and finance Local Heritage Places Grants to provide small grants to support owners of heritage items in maintaining and conserving their property.


  1. Support the conservation and maintenance of heritage items through Council’s Local Heritage Places Grants.
  2. Promote the availability of grant funding for heritage items to encourage and enable conservation of our heritage and review the funding priorities each year.
  3. Provide assistance to owners of heritage items in procuring grant funding.
  4. Promote good conservation work coming out of the program to encourage appreciation of our heritage buildings and streetscapes.
  5. Conduct the Fergus OAM Thomson Heritage Award program for members of the community engaged in the promotion and conservation of the heritage of the Eurobodalla Shire.

Local Heritage Places Grants Fund is $25,000 per annum (ESC $18,000 + Grants $7,000).

In 2016-2017 this enabled $81,773 worth of economic activity and work for local tradespeople.

Fergus Thomson OAM Heritage Award $1,500 per annum.

6. Tourism, educational and promotional programs


  • Councillors and Council staff actively include heritage as a key consideration in performing their duties.  Council officers are well-equipped to make informed decisions on heritage management.
  • A more informed community with regard to best practice procedures, initiatives and techniques on heritage and heritage management in the Eurobodalla Shire.
  • The local tourism industry is enhanced by the offer of rich heritage products in the form of maps of heritage walks and drives.
  • Heritage tourism showcases this community’s rich and vibrant heritage and continues to develop a sense of identity for the Eurobodalla beyond forests and beaches.


Continue to fund and present educational and promotional programs.


  1. Provide training for Council’s Development Assessment staff in assessing development applications for new development on properties that contain or are adjacent to heritage items.
  2. Council staff to continue to attend and participate in the Heritage Division’s training and educational programs.
  3. Provide information on heritage resources, management, heritage tourism and links to relevant websites which would be accessible from Council’s website.
  4. Encourage participation in the annual National Trust Heritage Festival.  Support exhibitions and information sessions on heritage issues and topics.
  5. Continue the development of digital and printed local heritage tourism maps hand in hand with the establishment of heritage trails.
  6. Provide material for tourism signage implementation such as in the themes of mining, timber, maritime, food, etc.
  7. Partner with Create NSW and Museums & Galleries NSW in delivering the Museums Advisors Program.

The Museum Advisors Program is funded by $7,000 per annum from Council to match equal funding from Museums and Galleries of NSW under Create NSW.

7. Managing Council owned heritage places


  • Council’s heritage assets are well maintained and accessible to the community.


Properly manage Council owned and/or managed heritage assets such that they are well maintained and used by the community.


  1. Cooperatively manage Council’s heritage assets in consultation with the community.
  2. Install interpretive signage for Council’s heritage assets.
  3. Ensure Council owned and/or managed heritage items or areas are specifically addressed in Council’s Asset Management Plans with actions for conserving the item and its heritage significance.

Council is responsible for the care and management of over 40 heritage places.

Definitions and references


Heritage item has the same meaning as in the Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan 2012 being a building, work, place, relic, tree, object or archaeological site the location and nature of which is described in Schedule 5.

Heritage conservation area has the same meaning as in the Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan 2012 being an area of land of heritage significance:

(a) shown on the Heritage Map as a heritage conservation area, and

(b) the location and nature of which is described in Schedule 5,

and includes any heritage items situated on or within that area.


Burra Charter: 

Heritage Division of the Office of Environment and Heritage:

NSW Heritage Council:

NSW State Heritage Inventory (a database containing all heritage items and areas listed in the Eurobodalla):

Eurobodalla Council Heritage Studies referred to in this strategy: