Minister’s inaction over Varroville listing a disgrace, local MP says

13 September 2018

Member for Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong MP, has taken aim at the NSW Heritage Minister for delaying by 12 months a decision on the State Heritage Listing of the curtilage at Varroville in the Scenic Hills.

The Heritage Minister, Gabrielle Upton, has a strict obligation under heritage laws to act on the Heritage Council’s recommendation within 14 days.

But Minister Upton has not said a word on the matter since September 2017, when the State Heritage Register Committee made recommendations about Varroville – a property of immense cultural and historical value in the local area that sits within the Scenic Hills, the ‘green lungs’ of Campbelltown.

The State Heritage Register Committee recommended that Varroville and its extended curtilage should be listed on the State Heritage Register – a worthy recognition of its historical significance not only to south west Sydney but also to the State’s colonial history.

“The recommendations made to the NSW Heritage Minister were clear and unambiguous. If adopted, Varroville, its property and curtilage would be protected in law forever,” Mr Chanthivong said in a speech to the NSW Parliament.

“Yet despite the urgency of the matter, the silence from the Minister is deafening. Has the Minister forgotten her obligations under the Act or does she simply not care? The Minister’s inaction over Varroville is disgraceful and as slow as an all-stations train to Macarthur on a Sunday evening.

“No more excuses. Enough is enough. The time to protect Varroville is now. I call on the Minister to immediately fulfill her obligations with respect to Varroville,” Mr Chanthivong said.

A development proposal for a 136,000-plot cemetery and associated works on the land at Varroville is currently under consideration. The cemetery threatens the Varroville property and its curtilage and will forever destroy its heritage value.

Mr Chanthivong has been consistently opposed to any development of the Scenic Hills and his fight to save this vital green open space for the community continues.

Local residents listed ‘Loss of green open space’ as one of their top three concerns about overdevelopment in an electorate-wide survey Mr Chanthivong dubbed ‘Stop the Squeeze.’

To find out more about this, and join the fight to save the Scenic Hills and stop overdevelopment in the local area, visit