Heritage Estates, Worrowing Heights

Planning & tenure resolution (updated 1 November 2017)

The Heritage Estates Planning Proposal (PP) to rezone the land to E2 - Environmental Conservation has been finalised in accordance with Council's resolution on 29 July 2014 (MIN14.487).  Amendment No. 4 to the Shoalhaven Local Environmental Plan 2014 (SLEP 2014) was notified and commenced on 24 June 2016. The amendment rezoned the ‘Heritage Estates’ (excluding Lot 8 DP 8771 and Lot 1768 DP 28785) to E2 Environmental Conservation, completing a process that commenced in 2013.

Voluntary Heritage Estates Land Purchase project

In 2012, the Australian Government allocated $5,493,400 to assist with resolving the tenure of the Heritage Estates.  All three levels of Government are partners is this project and are committed to protecting the land’s unique environmental values.  The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has managed the Voluntary Heritage Estates Land Purchase (HELP) project and has a dedicated website which can be accessed from the Foundation's website: http://www.fnpw.org.au/

The Voluntary HELP project was initially funded for two years. Recognising the delays pending court hearings (see below) the Australian Government granted a third and final extension in 2016. No further extensions will be sought. The final deadline for offers to sell is 5pm on 31 December 2017, unless the funding runs out beforehand.

Legal challenges dismissed

A landowner class action in the Federal Court of Australia and subsequent appeal were both unsuccessful. The landowners then applied for special leave to appeal this decision to the High Court, the highest Court in Australia. On 5 May 2016, the High Court dismissed the application and again, awarded costs against the landowners.  In 2017, a member of the Shoalhaven Landowners’ Association (comprising Heritage Estates landowners) lodged a claim in the NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC) against the Minister administering the National Parks and Wildlife Act, the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, Shoalhaven City Council, and the Minister for Planning. This claim was summarily dismissed and the landowner ordered to pay costs.  Links to each of the judgements can be viewed via the links below.

  • Federal Court: Esposito v The Commonwealth [2013] FCA 546 (31 May 2013)
  • Full Court of the Federal Court: Esposito v Commonwealth of Australia [2015] FCAFC 160 (17 November 2015)
  • High Court: Esposito & Ors v Commonwealth of Australia & Ors [2016] HCASL 87 (5 May 2016)
  • Land & Environment Court: Scevola v Minister Administering National Parks and Wildlife [2017] NSWLEC 106 (24 August 2017)

Installation of gates and barriers

In 2016, Council approved the installation of gates and barriers under section 118 of the Roads Act 1993 to protect water quality in St Georges Basin and prevent further land degradation caused by vehicles and trail bikes.  Links to the relevant Council reports and resolutions are provided below. Staff are in the process of implementing resolutions MIN16.456 and MIN16.278.  

Access Key

The gates and barriers have now been installed at Heritge Estates and to enable access to the estate a key will be required.  To request a access key please fill in the Heritage Estate Access Key Request Form and return to Council.

Report Resolution
Report to Development Committee 14 June 2016 MIN16.456
Report to Strategy & Assets Committee 12 April 2016 MIN16.278
Report to Strategy & Assets Committee 19 January 2016 MIN16.13
Report to Policy & Resources Committee 8 September 2015 D15/266117

2009 Decision under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999

On 13 March 2009, the then Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett AM refused Council’s proposed rezoning and associated public works to facilitate residential development at the "Heritage Estates", Worrowing Heights under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999, due to its impact on threatened species and Commonwealth land (Booderee National Park). Further information on this decision is accessible at the following links:

Other Information

Other information on the "Heritage Estates" is available below:

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council@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au
P.O. Box 42, Nowra NSW 2541 Australia
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