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Railway workshops defended as priceless heritage jewel - 30.11.2004

The Eveleigh railway workshops site, which will face development with no heritage protection once it moves under the control of the new Redfern-Waterloo Authority, has been described as "an industrial icon for NSW and Australia".

David Sheedy, a heritage architect who has studied the history of Redfern-Waterloo, said the workshops, most of which date from 1887, would be among an "invaluable collection" of the nation's earliest buildings which will be under threat.
He said the Government's Redfern Papers exposed by the Herald showed planned redevelopment of historical sites in the 340-hectare area the new authority will control is on a scale never seen in Australia.

Under legislation that has already passed through the lower house, the authority will be able to override heritage laws in the plan to make room for 20,000 new residents and inject 20,000 jobs into the area.

A rare Georgian terrace in Pitt Street is one of Australia's best and there are fine Victorian terraces in Buckingham, Pitt and Phillip streets, Mr Sheedy said, while the platform at Redfern station dates from the 1870s.

By Debra Jopson

Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald
November 30, 2004