Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Plans/Management of Sites & Species as made
This instrument provides for the future management of Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA). It establishes strategic principles for conservation and protection of the outstanding universal value and other heritage values of KAVHA. It seeks to improve connections with the local community to demonstrate how heritage can benefit local people, including private landholders, to improve visitor experiences and to address resourcing and management issues.
Administered by: Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Registered 09 Dec 2016
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR07-Feb-2017
Tabled Senate07-Feb-2017

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Issued by the and Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

 

Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Heritage Management Plan (2016)

 

Subsection 341S (1) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) requires a Commonwealth Agency – in this case the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) to make a written plan to protect and manage the Commonwealth Heritage values of a Commonwealth Heritage place it owns or controls.

The Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Heritage Management Plan (2016) (the Plan) provides for the future management of Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA). It establishes strategic principles for conservation and protection of the outstanding universal value and other heritage values of KAVHA. The plan seeks to improve connections with the local community to demonstrate how heritage can benefit local people, including private landholders, to improve visitor experiences and to address resourcing and management issues.

Background

Norfolk Island is a plateau, 90 to 120 metres above sea level, in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1400 kilometres east of mainland Australia (latitude 29° South and Longitude 168° East). The southern side of the island contains a coastal lowland and bay with a fringing reef. The KAVHA site comprises this lowland, the surrounding steep hills and two major valleys: Arthur’s Vale and Stockyard Valley. The site covers an area of approximately 250 hectares, of which 78 hectares are within public reserves.

Kingston, set on a coastal plain surrounded by hills, contains a substantial set of Georgian buildings as well as extensive ruins and standing structures, archaeological features, and landform and landscape elements. Many of the buildings have been modified and some have been in continual use since the arrival of Pitcairn settlers in 1856. Arthur’s Vale (also known as Watermill Valley) is a largely undeveloped cultural landscape which retains late eighteenth and early nineteenth century characteristics.

European discovery of Norfolk Island was by Captain Cook on 10 October 1774. There is some evidence of Polynesian settlement between c1150 and c1450 AD. First (Colonial)Settlement was from 1788 to 1814. All buildings erected during this period were destroyed to prevent use when the island was abandoned in February 1814. A second (Penal) settlement existed between 1825 and 1855. A third settlement was established in 1856 when Pitcairn Islanders were relocated to Norfolk Island due to the unsustainability of Pitcairn Island. Norfolk Island has been continuously settled since 1856.

Sites and buildings remaining from these settlements include Government House, rebuilt in 1825; the 1830s formal layout of Kingston; the old military barracks, constructed in 1832, comprise a compound wall with corner observation towers enclosing the central barracks; the new military barracks were constructed between 1835 and 1837; and, the Cemetery, that has been in use since c1798.

The KAVHA site was included in the Norfolk Island Heritage Register in 2003, the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004, Australia’s National Heritage List in 2007 and added to the World Heritage list, as one of eleven places that comprise the Australian Convict Sites, in 2010.

Structure and content of the Plan

The Plan has been prepared in a manner which is consistent with the Commonwealth Heritage management principles in Schedule 7B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (EPBC Regulations) and meets the requirements for management plans for Commonwealth Heritage places in Schedule 7A of the EPBC Regulations. The Plan follows a sequence from description to analysis of operational requirements to recommendations for implementation:

·           Introduction

·           Vision and key objectives

·           The place

·           Heritage Values

·           Management context

·           Challenging issues

·           Strategic principles

·           Conservation and management policies

·           Priority programs

·           Recommendations

Consultation

Development of the Plan started in January 2014 as an update of the previous conservation management plans. A Project Team was engaged, comprising experts in community consultation and engagement and heritage management as well as an architect who was a KAVHA expert.

A Project Review Group of six was established consisting of one nominee each from the Commonwealth and former Norfolk Island Governments and one from each of the following four categories: legislation and planning expertise (Commonwealth and Norfolk Island); heritage and/or environment expertise; a KAVHA staff representative – current or former; and, a KAVHA landowner representative. Applications were called for by 13 February 2014 by way of weekly advertisements placed in the Norfolk Islander newspaper over a number of weeks and a Project Update was posted on line. The members were announced on 23 April 2014.

The Project Team conducted an online survey from 23 February to 23 March 2014, to allow anyone else with an interest to share their vision for KAVHA, express concerns and identify opportunities. This attracted 165 responses. They visited the island from 24 February to 3 March 2014 and held drop in sessions, one on one talks and had a stall at the Sunday Market. They visited again in 2014, from 28 April to 2 May, and held some focussed discussion groups and an Open Community Report Back session.

A draft Heritage Management Plan was prepared and was put on exhibition on island from 2 February to 15 March 2015. An eight-page synopsis and the draft plan were available to download and copies available at the KAVHA Office, Norfolk Island Post Office, Public Library and Tourism Visitors Information Centre.

Consultation and workshops were undertaken on Norfolk Island in February 2015:

·           Public presentation – Wednesday 11 February

·           Tourism representatives workshop – Wednesday 11 February

·           KAVHA staff workshop – Thursday 12 February

·           Landholders workshop – Thursday 12 February

An on-line feedback survey was open from 2 February to 15 March 2015. Written submissions were also invited to be made during that period.

Members of the Project Team were re-engaged in late 2015 to make further amendments to the Draft Plan. The changes requested were to reflect recent changes to the legislative and governance arrangements in place for Norfolk Island, and consider additional comments provided on minor issues identified in the previous draft plan. 

On 23 April 2016 the Environment Minister (the Minister) was asked to endorse the Draft Plan in accordance with paragraph 341S (6) (a) of the EPBC Act. On 13 October 2016 the Minister's delegate confirmed, based on advice received from the Australian Heritage Council, that the Plan complied with the requirements of the EPBC Act and the Commonwealth Heritage management principles.

The Plan is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003.

The Plan will commence on the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

The Plan is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

The Plan does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

The Plan is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.