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Redfern Waterloo Heritage Task Force (RWHT) Terms of Reference

Below are the Terms of Reference for the Redfern Waterloo Heritage Task Force.




The Minister for Planning, Minister for Redfern Waterloo has announced that a Heritage Taskforce will be established for the Redfern Waterloo Area, because it is essential to ensure that the unique heritage assets of the area are conserved and promoted as the area undergoes significant revitalisation. 


The purpose of the Taskforce is to identify opportunities for the active conservation, interpretation and, where appropriate, the adaptive reuse of the cultural, natural and archaeological heritage of the Redfern Waterloo area in tandem with the revitalisation and renewal of the area.  The Taskforce seeks to achieve enhanced public understanding of the history of the area and its significance to residents, workers and visitors and will include the promotion of the unique heritage and culture of this area through the fostering of active links with the community, as well as with tourism, education and recreation activities. 


The Redfern Waterloo area is a key part of Sydney and NSW.  It is also undergoing revitalisation under the Redfern Waterloo Built Environment Plan.  Recent developments such as the Redfern Street and Redfern Oval upgrades, development in the ATP, including the NICTA building, the Channel 7 building and the redevelopment of North Eveleigh and Rachel Foster Hospital, are site specific examples of this revitalisation process. 

These developments will bring significant economic and social benefit to the Redfern Waterloo area through increased employment and economic activity, as well as new residents and visitors that will be attracted into the area. 

The Redfern Waterloo Built Environment Plan, the SEPP (Major Development) and the South Sydney Local Environmental Plan 1998 are the key strategies and statutory planning instruments that apply in the area.  They identify a range of heritage items and features within Redfern Waterloo.  The former Eveleigh Railway Workshops are listed on the State Heritage Register and include the locomotive Workshops and other key facilities that were established there in latter part of the 19th Century.

The Redfern Waterloo area is also vitally important to the Aboriginal people of Australia.  It is universally recognised as the centre of Urban Aboriginal Australia, and much of the development of the Aboriginal movement toward recognition of their culture and rights originated in this area. 

The Railways were also employers of indigenous personnel through the 19th and 20th centuries and therefore the linkage between the industrial assets of the area and the local community has been strengthened over time. 

Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops about 1912 (Source: Bourke, D. ‘With Iron Rails -History of the Railways in NSW’, 1988).

Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops about 1912 (Source: Bourke, D. ‘With Iron Rails -History of the Railways in NSW’, 1988). 

Eveleigh became a key industrial centre of NSW and therefore has a rich industrial, labour and multicultural history that provides significant tourism, educational, cultural and recreational opportunities along side the current revitalisation of the Redfern Waterloo area.  This rich history of Eveleigh is the inspiration for a number of valuable volunteer and interest groups that have worked to restore and maintain key aspects of railway heritage from this site.  


The membership of the Taskforce will comprise six State and Local Government representatives, as well as four members of the local community. Specialist members are also proposed to be invited to attend and contribute, in matters relevant to specialist skills and experience on an as need basis.  Proposed membership is detailed further in Attachment 1.  The core members of the taskforce will be responsible for providing the necessary connectivity between projects  and across the entire Redfern Waterloo area. 


  • Identify opportunities for appropriate and sustainable conservation, adaptive re-use, revitalisation and interpretation of cultural, natural and archaeological heritage in the Redfern Waterloo Area in both the short and long term. 
  • Identify opportunities to increase community awareness, understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the existing heritage and stimulate greater community initiative and participation in efforts to conserve it. 
  • Develop and foster links, synergies and networks between stakeholders including all levels of government, community groups, heritage experts, operators, volunteers and enthusiasts. 
  • Examine opportunities for heritage skills training and employment associated with heritage land uses in the area. 
  • Determine sustainable and appropriate treatment and techniques for interpretation of heritage in the Redfern Waterloo Area in association with tourism, educational and recreational uses in the wider Sydney and NSW region. 
  • Enhance wider public understanding of the history of the area and its significance to residents, workers and visitors and the fostering of active links with the community. 
  • Consider the existing planning and heritage controls and approved and proposed plans for revitalisation in the Redfern Waterloo area and identify opportunities for synergies between sites, organisations, community groups in the development of opportunities to increase appreciation and enjoyment of the existing heritage and public participation in conservation and interpretation. This will include consideration of the values and opportunities associated with both fixed and movable heritage as well as the intangible social and cultural associations. 
  • Identify, in consultation with the Heritage Office and experts, any additional areas of heritage and cultural significance in the Redfern Waterloo Area not already listed and/or adequately protected. 
  • Identify funding opportunities for the conduct of Heritage Projects identified and prioritised in accordance with the Terms of Reference for planning, conservation, interpretation, appreciation, reuse and education. 
  • The activities of the RWHT shall be the subject of a report to the Minister, at the end of 2010. 


The Heritage Taskforce will meet quarterly or more often as required.  Attendance at all meetings, and the conduct of work agreed at those meetings, will be undertaken on a voluntary basis by all participants. 

Decisions will be made by consensus.  However, where a situation arises where agreement cannot be reached, the decision of the Chair will be final. 

The RWA will undertake the necessary administrative arrangements for the meetings.  All papers for inclusion on Taskforce Agenda shall be supplied to RWA 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting date, for circulation to sitting members.  


In establishing this Taskforce, it is recognised that there are opportunities as well as constraints that need to be taken into account. The Taskforce must operate within a statutory regulatory environment that involves a range of government jurisdictions and should seek to foster close liaison between institutions and community members and interest groups. It is envisaged that many of the Taskforce’s opportunities will relate to the identification and facilitation of Heritage Projects in accordance with the Terms of Reference.  

In this regard, an initial opportunity for the Taskforce relates to the North Eveleigh Concept Plan approval that requires the preparation of an Interpretation Strategy for the entire site.  

In association with the required Interpretation Plan there is the potential for complementary projects to be developed including, but not limited to: 

    • Blacksmiths workers wall;
    • Oral history of workers for multimedia presentation;
    • Incorporation of heritage interpretation in Scientific Services Building;
    • Documenting the Aboriginal history of the Eveleigh site for inclusion in any future Interpretation Strategy.
    • Heritage Walk and key elements. 


Proposed representatives of the Heritage Taskforce 

Permanent Members 

State and Local Government

  • RWA- Chair
  • RailCorp
  • Tourism NSW
  • Heritage Office
  • Housing NSW
  • City of Sydney 

Community Representatives

  • Redfern Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
  • REDWatch
  • Representatives of Indigenous Communities
  • Independent Heritage Specialist[1] 

Specialist Members

A number of specialist roles are recommended for people with valuable expertise to contribute in relation to particular aspects of the heritage of Redfern Waterloo.  These specialist roles would be project specific and would include, but not be limited to the following representatives. 

Federal and State Government

  • Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
  • Arts NSW
  • Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. 

Heritage Specialists

  • Expert advisory positions for Conservators, Academics and/or Heritage Specialists/Architects as well as the National Trust and Powerhouse Museum 

Representatives of Heritage Interests in the Area

  • Friends of Eveleigh
  • 3801 Ltd
  • Wrought Artworks
  • Heritage Volunteers
  • Railway Unions
  • Historic Electric Traction
  • Australian Technology Park

[1] To be nominated by Community Representatives and agreed to by the Committee