Address to Council Forum 8 October 2012,
By Menangle Community Assoc. Chair, Maurice Blackwood

• Mr. Mayor, Councillors, General Manager, ladies and gentleman, part of the original Camden Park Estate, called Menangle, is the subject of several development proposals.
• Simply, Camden Park, Belgenny and Menangle, were the major centres of the Camden Park Estate. They are uniquely significant in that they are
1. Australia’s first pastoral company
2. The birthplace of Australian agriculture.
3. The oldest agricultural landscape in Australia

How, when and why?
• This area is the 1796 Cowpastures, where the escaped first fleet cattle were found.
• It is where John Macarthur started the Camden Park Estate,
• It became Australia’s first sheep stud, and its wool ousted all continental wools from the British woollen mills, and achieved world acclaim for its quality.
• Over its 170 years of operation, it was continually a leader in Australian agriculture, accumulating 15 Australian agricultural firsts, with record crops, and controlled breeding.
• By 1932 the estate was over 28,000 acres, and was recognized as the most successful pastoral company in Australia, expanding to include most of the valley between the Razorback and the Nepean.
• It was at the forefront of the Australian wine industry, producing 16,000 gallons of wine in 1849, and sending vine cuttings to other regions like the Barossa.
• On exporting, it won international gold medals for its brandy.
• It also developed one of the largest botanical collections in Australia.
• It was a major supplier of wheat, oats, barley, dairy, wine, fruit and meat.
• Royalty, Governors, politicians, businessmen, farmers and the public, all came to the Camden Park from the 1800’s, throughout its history, to marvel and to learn about this ground breaking property

Five important facts:
1. Within a 6 Km radius of the Menangle Village, there are over 40 listed heritage assets, indicating immediately the large amount of agricultural history in this immediate area.

2. Annually, 35,000 visitors still come to Belgenny, Menangle and Camden Park.

3. In the 50’s and 60’s, over 2000 people a week visited the Rotolactor at Menangle. So over the 30 years of operation, this equates to 3 million people, or the population of Sydney at that time.

4. State planning said in 1973 in the Satellite Cities Plan, “The conservation of these estates,, is regarded as an object of both national and state importance” Again in 1991 in the Macarthur South paper, they said, Razorback, its foothills and the Menangle Hills, should be retained as a scenic backdrop and that we need to protect the heritage of the area.

5. In 1976 and 1984, following public outcries, and a campaign by Tom Uren, the State Government purchased 4,500 acres of the estate from developers. I quote the press release at the time, “to ensure that this outstanding national asset is preserved”

• Ladies and Gentleman, there is so much information available in national, state and local heritage registers and archives, that it is overwhelming however; it clearly describes the estates importance as the birthplace of our nation’s agriculture.
• The state government’s comments in 1973 and 1991, and their “two saving land purchases”, confirm the depth of the public’s opinion of the estates importance.
• Council’s own Landscape reports and DCP41 all summarise the history, but the just released report by Chris Betteridge goes into great detail, and it is an absolute “must read”.
• Most notable are the 3 pages I have copies for you here.
• Firstly, it is his opinion that the paddocks in the current development proposals are more important than the others just across the Menangle road which are already State Heritage Registered, and that this omission that should be rectified.
• Secondly, research carried out suggests that there are few comparable areas in terms of variety and richness of cultural heritage values, period of European settlement and particular associations.
• Lastly and most critical, the report states and I quote “As a place the Menangle Village Landscape Conservation Area appears to satisfy most, if not all, of the seven criteria established under the NSW Heritage Act.1977, for assessment of heritage significance, and potential inclusion on the state heritage Register, or an LEP heritage schedule.”

Mr. Mayor, Councillors, General Manager, staff, ladies and gentleman, you now have the irrefutable compelling evidence that Menangle and its landscape require a full heritage assessment. This needs to be done before any planning decisions are made by Council the JRPP, or the Department of Planning.

We call on the council to please commit to this assessment, and to put this case to government, requesting decisions at any level be put on hold pending the result.

o 1965 Camden Park Estate, 1795 to 1965, by the Macarthur Family.
o 1970 Vineyards of Sydney by Dr Phillip Norrie.
o 1973 Satellite Cities Plan by State planning
o 1991 Macarthur South paper by the Department of Planning.
o 1983 Howard Tanner Report “Camden Park Estate”
o 1991 Council report by Joti Sommerville on Menangle Development and the DCP41.
o 1992 Camden Park, Birthplace of Australian Agriculture by Turner and Gregory.
o 2011 Council’s Menangle Landscape Conservation Area LEP 2011 by Dr Peter Kabala
o 2012 Council’s Menangle Landscape Conservation Area by Chris Betteridge.