Thursday, 30 June 2016

More developments at the Camden Milk Depot

Camden Vale Milk Depot Saga

DA/2016/169 Camden Council

The District Reporter 24 June 2016 p3

There have been more developments in the saga of the Camden Vale Milk Depot story.

Sydney identities Mr Alan Jones and Mr Mark Latham have been drawn into the controversy. 

Listen to a conversation between Alan Jones and Mark Latham on Sydney Radio 2GB and read a letter to the editor of the Camden Narellan Advertiser by concerned resident Mr J Wrigley. 

Mr Jones has stated that he has received a stream of emails and phone calls on this matter and other issues related to the town centre development.

Mr Jones and Mr Latham paid a visit to Camden to inspect what the fuss is all about. Lee Abrahams from The District Reporter has published a story about their visit which has appeared in a recent issue of the newspaper. (24 June 2016)

It is advantageous that according to The District Reporter (11 May 2016) and reports in the Macarthur Chronicle (26 April 2016) the mayor's position on these issues seems to have shifted from her earlier statements about the development. 

Camden Vale Milk Depot (Camden Images)
The handling of this development application by Camden Council has been unfortunate. The notification for the original DA was not publicly advertised in the press and then there seemed to be considerable confusion around the publication exhibition period dates. 

The council's approach on this matter has done nothing to narrow the trust deficit that emerged in 2014 with the community consultation process for the town centre re-development.

The council's continued politicisation of these type of development matters is regrettable. The council needs to build confidence within the community.

Read more on the Camden Vale Milk Depot

Monday, 30 May 2016

Parramatta Heritage Under Threat

Member of the Parramatta Historical Society and National Trust Karen Brown says:
There are 1820s Francis Greenway Parramatta Female Factory buildings in the Cumberland Mental Hospital precinct in North Parramatta that are subject to Nsw Urban Growth rezoning and private sell off.

There is incredible colonial convict history contained within this 30 hectare site on the banks of the Parramatta River that many members of the public wouldn't even know exist seeing as NSW Health use the site as a mental hospital.

The local residents are trying to circulate interest in the sydney residents to attend a community rally to show solidarity and support to stop any new buildings being built and land sold to developers.

The government wants super lots sold to developers and built close to these old buildings. it's hard to show the Government that people care about its importance when many Sydneysiders don't even know these buildings are here to protect.

The North Parramatta Residents Action Group of only 100 or so people are trying to inform Sydneysiders of these plans and hope you will join us for a rally this Sunday 5th June, meeting at 11am at Parramatta Stadium carpark.

For more information about these issues go to

All images K Brown.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Development at Camden Milk Depot site

Development at the historic Camden Milk Depot site

DA/2016/169 Camden Council

The District Reporter 29 April 2016

A major development is planned for the historic Camden Vale Milk Depot site at 11 Argyle Street Camden at the entry to the historic town centre
The $8.8 million development was lodged in April 2016 by developer C Meitanis for five restaurants and a car park.

Camden mayor, Councillor Symkoviak has stated that it will transform the site into a restaurant precinct. (Macarthur Chronicle 26 April 2016, p13; Camden Narellan Advertiser, 11 May 2016, p7)

Not everyone agrees with the mayor.

A number of community groups including the Camden Residents Action Group, the Camden Community Alliance and the Camden Historical Society  have objected to the development. (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 11 May 2016, p7; Macarthur Chronicle, 26 April 2016, p.13; The District Reporter, 29 April 2016, p. 3)

Former Camden Council Mr K Hart stated in April that the development would completely change the entry to the town area. (The District Reporter, 29 April 2016, p.3)

Historian Dr I Willis maintains that the development does not conform to Burra Charter principles.
The Burra Charter states:
The Burra Charter provides guidance for the conservation and management of places of cultural
significance (cultural heritage places), and is based on the knowledge and experience of Australia
ICOMOS members. Conservation is an integral part of the management of places of cultural significance and is an ongoing responsibility.

Camden Community Alliance vice-president Ms L Idon stated that the development does fit with the historic centre of the town area. (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 11 May 2016, p.7)

The current industrial building on the site was opened in 1926 and was a milk depot of Camden Park's Camden Vale Milk Company. The plant was regarded at the time as one of the most modern for the scientific treatment of milk. The current building replaced a former timber construction that burnt down in 1926 that was originally built in the 1890s.

Read more 

Janice Johnson Back Then The District Reporter 1 April 2016, 8 April 2016,

Camden Vale Milk Depot, NSW State Heritage Inventory, Click here

The Burra Charter  Revised 2013 Click here  More information at the International Council of Monuments and Sites in Australia Click here

Proposed development for Camden Vale Milk Depot, DA/2016/169 Click here

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Elderslie Banksia Scrub - Critically Endangered

Elderslie Banksia Scrub (I Willis)

The Elderslie Banksia Scrub is listed as critically endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Elderslie Banksia Scrub (I Willis)

Common Species
Coastal banksia, Broad-leaf apple

Elderslie Banksia Scrub (I Willis)
It occurs on the alluvial sands in the Elderslie area and there is only around 13 hectares left of the scrub.

The biggest threat is from sandmining in the Elderslie area. The remaining remnants are vulnerable and threatened by invasive weeds.
Elderslie Banksia Scrub disturbed by local road (I Willis)
Recovery and Management
There has been efforts to re-vegetate the Elderslie Banksia Scrub at Spring Farm.

Rehabilitation of Elderslie Banksia Scrub (Microclimate)

Read more @

Office of Environment and Heritage Click here
The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act (NSW) Click here
Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion - profile (OEH) Click here
Three ecological communities of the Sydney Basin Bioregion (Aust Govt, Dept of Environt) Click here
Spring Farm, (Dictionary of Sydney) Click here
Final determination as Critically Endangered Ecological Community under the Threatened Species Conservation Act (NSW)  Click here

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Camden White Gum- Endangered

cc Camden White Gum (Wikimedia) 

One of Camden's little known hidden gems is a tree commonly known as the Camden White Gum. This gum tree is named after our local area. It is found along the Nepean River floodplain in the Camden area, as well Bents Basin and the Kedumba Valley in the Blue Mountains. It grows in numbers in these restricted locations but not elsewhere.

The species of tree is declared as vulnerable under the Commonwealth Governments endangered species and the NSW threatened species.

The flooding of the Burragorang Valley by Warragamba Dam in the 1950s destroyed many trees of the species.

Some individual trees live for over 150 years. Germination of new trees is triggered by floods on the Nepean River which leave a suitable silt deposit for germination of new seedlings.

These include tree clearing for farming and urban development, increased nutrients in the Nepean River from sewage and runoff, intense bushfires which kill existing trees and weed competition.  

Read more
National Arboretum in Canberra Click here
NSW National Parks Click here

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Camden Vale Milk Depot

Camden Vale Milk Depot/Old Dairy Farmers Co-op Depot
11 Argyle Street Camden

Lot 1, DP 219757

Camden Vale Milk Depot/Dairy Farmers Milk Depot c1970s (Camden Images)

History and Description

The foundation stone was laid in 1926 by Mrs F.A. Macarthur-Onslow, Mayoress of Camden and wife of Camden Vale Milk Co Ltd. The name was later changed to Dairy Farmers Co-operative Milk Co in 1928. They operated the factory until the 1970s.(SHI)

Condition and Use
The Old Dairy Farmer's Co-op Depot has poor to fair integrity and intactness. (SHI)

Heritage Significance
An early dairy of the Camden Vale Milk Co Ltd (later changed to Dairy Farmers). (SHI)

Heritage Listing
Camden Heritage Inventory LEP 2010 Listing  Item I3
State Heritage Inventory Built Commercial Listing

Read more

State Heritage Inventory Click here

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Commercial Bank Camden NSW

Commercial Bank of Sydney

125 Argyle Street, Camden. Lot 1 DP 986203

Commercial Bank, Argyle Street, Camden NSW (Camden Images)

History and Description

It was built in 1877-78 to the design of G.A. Mansfield, who did much of the CBC's architectural work at that time. The contractor was C. Furner of Camden. A one storey extension added 1972-73 by Architects Laurie and Heath, sympathetically following the style and detail of the original building. (State Heritage Inventory)

A fine example of the late Victorian Bank buildings to be found in country towns of New South Wales. It is in an Italianate style with a fine stone entrance porch to the main elevation and a cast iron balustraded verandah and balcony to its two storeys. The wisteria vine which climbs over the verandah is considered part of the Bank's aesthetic contribution. (SHI)

The building has a hipped shingle roof with a tiled ridgecap and painted chimneys. The entrance door is a timber framed glass sliding door with a highlight window. The building has arched two pane double hung windows. There are french doors to the first floor verandah. (State Heritage Inventory)

The entrance doors have been converted to automatic sliding doors. Airconditioners have been installed. Single storey extension. National Estate Database)

Condition and Use

The building is in good condition. The building is currently occupied by the NAB, and other small businesses. (SHI)

Heritage Significance

An important and noticeable building in a key position on the corner of Camden's two main streets. It continues to be used for its original purpose and well kept over the years. The building is representative of a Victorian Italianate building. It is part of the John Street Group. (SHI) The bank retains good integrity and intactness. (SHI)

Heritage Listing

LEP 2010 item no 112.
State Heritage Inventory (NSW). Built Heritage. Click here
National Estate Database Australian Heritage Commission Click here