MEDIA RELEASE – Urban Growth NSW lodge DA to Subdivide Australia’s History

NPRAG have been alerted to the fact that the State Government’s Development Arm UGNSW last week lodged the first Development Application with City of Parramatta council for the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct:   an ill-conceived proposal that will turn public land containing Australia’s oldest and most intact heritage buildings into a high density residential suburb of 3000+ units.

This precinct was placed under a total Greenban by the CFMEU and Jack Mundey in August 2015 after the community concerns went ignored by the State Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee.

“Dr Lee is ignoring constituents who have been working tirelessly to save our indigenous and colonial heritage from being desecrated, while he is gleefully handing it over to Mr Baird to sell for private residential development. Said Ms Meade President of NPRAG

State Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee continues to ignore the community who have been fighting against this inappropriate development for almost 2 years.   All we hear is Mr Lee promoting Mike Baird’s mandate to sell every remaining piece of public land in Parramatta for residential or commercial development.

Before our local government was unceremoniously sacked and replaced by a State Government-appointed representative Ms Chadwick, the former Lord Mayor Paul Garrard of Parramatta City Council wrote to Planning Minister Rob Stokes demanding this totally inappropriate development be at least paused until the National Heritage Listing was finalised.  Requesting further transparent consultation with the wider community and other interested stakeholders was carried out.  This fell on deaf ears.

How can the future of this most precious site be under the autonomous control of a State Government appointed administrator who is absurdly making decisions on a development application that is being fast tracked by a State Government department who’s only mandate is to reach maximum residential density on public land.

This sort of undemocratic decision making process is something we would expect in North Korea but not here in Australia. It is a disgrace – a slap in the face to the Darug custodians of the land, the tens of thousands of women and girls from 1818 to 1974 whose lives were changed forever after being incarcerated within this precinct.

If the Greater Sydney Commission’s Lucy Turnbull is fair dinkum about making Parramatta Australia’s next great city then she will step in and stop this State Government proposal to vandalise Australia’s most significant precinct by dumping a new high density suburb here.  Residents of Parramatta are calling on Lucy Turnbull to champion the peoples’ plan for the best and biggest arts and cultural precinct for NSW to be created in this world heritage worthy oasis on Parramatta River.

The residents of Parramatta demand that NO development application pertaining to the Cumberland Hospital site be accepted by City of Parramatta council.  No land sold and not a sod turned until we have democratically-elected representatives returned to represent the community in the Local Government Elections in September 2017 – demanded Ms Meade.

Contact – Suzette Meade (0412 990 880)



Historic Board game – Parramatta Your Town

NPRAG believe property developers are fast monopolising the city by building sky-high apartment blocks, instead of preserving Parramatta’s trademark sites.

“We don’t want to see our town overcome with skyscrapers, which is what is happening,” Mr Hillman said.jon monopoly

“By developing this new board game, we hope to centre on Parramatta’s rich heritage and give current merchants the chance to immortalise their business in a unique and historic way,” Mr Hillman said.

 “It’s our chance to showcase Parramatta’s iconic early architecture, and the significant changes and transformations within our city over the past thirty years.

“The game will be entertaining and educational for residents and visitors and is a great marketing tool for tourism and small businesses in our area.”




Game up for grabs

When: Sunday at the Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres, after the screening of To New Shores — A Tale of Convict, at 2pm. Buy Tickets to Movie Here

Cost: Raffle tickets are $5; all money raised will go towards funding the development of the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct . To purchase tickets please contact us infonprag@gmailcom


Read Full Article Here










Save the Powerhouse joins forces with North Parramatta Residents Action Group

SUN COVERThere was no east versus west cultural divide when an unlikely alliance was formed this week. The lobby group opposed to the Powerhouse Museum relocation to Parramatta has joined forces with the North Parramatta Residents Action Group (NPRAG).

Save the Powerhouse members travelled to Parramatta this week to join Greens MP Jamie Parker and independent Alex Greenwich on a site tour of the historical Fleet Street precinct.

Read full article HERE

NSW government considers reopening Parramatta Jail



Parramatta jail could reopen, five years after the state heritage listed facility closed.  ParrmattaPrison2009The state government will consider reopening the jail to address record numbers of inmates and prison overcrowding.

Opened in 1842, it was the oldest serving correctional centre in Australia.

“The government is considering all options at the moment to address the need for new beds for corrective services,” Parramatta MP Geoff Lee said. “Ultimately, the decision about reopening Parramatta Jail will be guided by a sensible long-term solution that addresses the needs of whole of the community.”

The Deerubbin Aboriginal Land Council claimed ownership of the jail 12 months ago but haven’t revealed their plans for the abandoned site.

North Parramatta Residents Action Group welcomed the protection of the jail’s heritage but reiterated calls to press pause on developing high density residential around the Fleet Street heritage precinct.

“The Premier has an opportunity to be the leader that created a legacy of a world class cultural and arts precinct that will deliver long term jobs and economic growth for western Sydney, instead of just adding Parramatta to his long list of public asset sales in NSW.” president Suzette Meade said. 

“The Premier could show further strong leadership by calling on the federal government to fast track the declaration of the National Heritage Listing of the irreplaceable heritage assets in the precinct.”

Read the Full Article HERE

Battlers unite to save precinct

TWO community groups have come together to ensure Parramatta is protected from overdevelopment.

Jon Hillman, Rob Macqueen, Alice Kershaw, Judith Dunn and Suzette Meade.North Parramatta Residents Action Group (NPRAG) and the Parramatta Female Factory Friends will aim to protect and encourage the appropriate rescue of the Cumberland East Health Precinct in North Parramatta.

The State Government has plans for a massive residential and commercial development, including 2700 apartments, but the two groups don’t agree with the proposal.

NPRAG and Parramatta Female Factory Friends have signed a memorandum of understanding with the “ultimate purpose to save the precinct as a highly significant social, economic and cultural asset for Parramatta, NSW and Australia”.

NPRAG president Suzette Meade said the groups wanted to focus their energies and resources in a more coordinated and effective way.

“We believe our alternative vision for the Cumberland Hospital grounds for a heritage and cultural landscape will ignite Parramatta city on to the world stage,” Ms Meade said.

Parramatta Female Factory Friends president Gay Hendriksen said the two groups had common goals for the preservation and access for the Female Factory.

“Our vision is not for private use but Female Factory as a living museum and national resource centre and associated sites for creative activation determined with the community and accessed by the community,” she said.

A public meeting will be held to discuss the future of the Fleet St Heritage Precinct in North Parramatta on Tuesday, February 16 at Burnside Public School Hall, 6.30pm.


Clive Lucas, who took over the trust presidency last month, told The Advertiser Parramatta had to be careful of overdevelopment.

“I do think the Parramatta domain and that land where the hospital and jail is, should be seen as a sacrosanct site. Parkland, that breathing space, is so important,” he said.

“Historic buildings are all capable of being converted into other uses. The Powerhouse Museum for example, could be incorporated to be built in that area,” he said.

Dr Lucas was a founder of the conservation architectural firm Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners.

He is the former chair of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, Australia ICOMOS and the Furniture History Society (Australasia).

Dr Lucas played a role in the conservation of some of the most significant buildings in Australia, including Elizabeth Bay House and the Hyde Park Barracks.

He said his new role would see him take a keen interest in Parramatta.

“If Parramatta is going to preserve its identity, it needs to have its historic buildings. The National Trust will keep an eye on what’s going on and where appropriate make a protest. It’s not just about preserving the historic buildings but also to preserve around them,” he said.

Speaking about the State Government’s North Parramatta development, Dr Lucas said it should remain as open space.

“I am certainly against building tall buildings there in North Parramatta but I think the old buildings there should be converted to something else.

“The rest of Parramatta is naturally going to grow. The problem is many of the early colonial buildings are small in scale and they look a bit stupid if you build tall skyscrapers beside them.”

He said zoning around historic buildings should take into account their heritage.

“The council should put guidelines in place to preserve the surroundings of the buildings and provide a buffer zone or allow for some sympathetic development,” Dr Lucas said.

United front for Fleet Street Heritage precinct

mou signing

The fight to save the Fleet Street Heritage precinct from overdevelopment has stepped up a notch.

North Parramatta Residents Action Group (NPRAG) and Parramatta Female Factory Friends (PFFF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a united front against UrbanGrowth NSW’s plans for North Parramatta.

“The ultimate purpose is to save the precinct as a highly significant social, economic and cultural asset for Parramatta, NSW and Australia,” it states.

Read Story Here

Powerhouse Museum should not be moved to old David Jones carpark, say Parramatta Councillors


powerhouseTHE debate of where the Powerhouse Museum should be relocated to is heating up with Parramatta councillors objecting to it being constructed at a site on the river.

At a council meeting last night, councillors discussed potential sites for the museum once it was moved from Ultimo to western Sydney.

All councillors were against the museum being built at the old David Jones carpark site, on the riverbank in Phillip St.  Another option the State Government was looking at was the old golf course site.

North Parramatta Residents Action Group president Suzette Meade said the government’s plan to move the Powerhouse out of Ultimo to Parramatta was nothing more than a “cash-grab to sell another public asset and a gift to developers.”

“ NPRAG would like to see Parramatta house the Museum of NSW celebrating our cultural diversity from indigenous beginnings through to our rich migration history with nearly half our residents born overseas,” Ms Meade said.

Read Article Here