Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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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
















































Section 1: Introduction





1.1            Introduction

The Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) on Norfolk Island is a place of outstanding heritage value. The KAVHA site is recognised for its picturesque character, historic associations, outstanding Georgian buildings, and evocative ruins set within a bucolic landscape. The site plays an important and continuing role in the life, identity and culture of the Norfolk Island community. It was initially occupied by the seafaring Polynesians, then settled by the British from 1788 as a convict penal settlement.

The convict history of the KAVHA site covers the full history of transportation to eastern Australia from 1788 until 1855. The first penal period between 1788 and 1814 was part of the first European settlement of Australia. A subsequent phase of penal settlement spanned from 1825–1855. In 1856 the KAVHA site was settled by the Pitcairn Island descendants of the HMAV Bounty mutineers and Tahitians. This is unique in the history of Australia and its territories. Norfolk Island's strategic importance was one of the reasons for the settling of Australia by the British. Further, the KAVHA site includes rare surviving evidence of pre-European Polynesian occupation.

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

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth) (EPBC Act) requires regular review of management documents for places on the National Heritage List (NHL) and World Heritage List. In April 1980, a Management Plan for the KAVHA site was prepared by a working group comprised of representatives from the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs and Environment. It was accompanied by a detailed Archaeological Survey and an Architectural Historical Record. Clive Lucas Stapleton and Partners Pty Ltd prepared a Conservation Management Plan for the KAVHA site in October 1988 for the Department of Administrative Services, Australian Construction Services. The 1988 Conservation Management Plan was updated in 2008 to support the Australian Convict Sites’ World Heritage nomination. In the case of the KAVHA site, it is appropriate that the contribution which KAVHA makes to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Australian Convict Sites—as well as its National Heritage values and other heritage values—should be reflected in a new Heritage Management Plan (HMP).










The Australian Government and Norfolk Island administration agree that the KAVHA site should be conserved so that its heritage values are transmitted to current and future generations, and the place itself has a continuing function in the life of the Norfolk Island community. To this end, GML Heritage Pty Ltd (GML), Context Pty Ltd (Context) and Jean Rice Architect were commissioned to prepare a revised Heritage Management Plan (HMP). This plan adopts an integrated values-based management approach through a consultative process with relevant stakeholders. The project has involved:

·                review of the current (2008) Conservation Management Plan (CMP) and identification of required revisions and inclusions;

·                updating management implications arising from the World Heritage Listing;


·                consideration  of  statutory  controls,  management  systems  and  processes,  including  recent legislative and administrative changes to the governance of Norfolk Island;

·                extensive engagement with the Norfolk Island community and organisations, and a range of other stakeholders;

·                contributions  and  advice   from   the  Australian  Department  of  Infrastructure  and  Regional Development;

·                preparation of an integrated plan that provides for best practice management; and


·                recommendation of actions, responsibilities, priorities and timelines.


This HMP was originally prepared in 2013–2015 but has been reviewed, amended and updated to reflect the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act 2015 (Cwlth) and associated Norfolk Island and KAVHA governance reforms.

This HMP complies with the requirements of the EPBC Act through:


·                conservation of heritage values and the associated tangible and intangible attributes;


·                connecting with the local community and demonstrating how heritage can benefit local people;


·                providing opportunities for positive (and income-generating) visitor experiences; and


·                aligning the aspirations and responsibilities arising from heritage recognition  with existing and potential resources.








1.2            Study Area

The KAVHA site is located on the southern side of Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean (latitude 29°S, longitude 168°E), approximately 1400km east of mainland Australia. Edged by its sharply dramatic and incised coastal cliffs, Norfolk Island is a plateau that is situated 90m–120m above sea level. The southern part 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. The prominent buildings are on the lowland and plain at Kingston.

The majority of land within the KAVHA site is owned by the Commonwealth. Of the 57 lots wholly or partly within the KAVHA site, there are six main tenure types:

·                 freehold land owned by residents (15);


·                 freehold land owned by the Norfolk Island administration (1);


·                 freehold land owned by the Commonwealth (1);


·                 Commonwealth Crown land leased to residents (15);


·                 Commonwealth Crown land declared to be public reserves (8); and


·                 Commonwealth Crown land that is vacant or not leased or licensed (18).


The 15 Crown leases within the KAVHA site are comprised of rural residential, rural, residential and one special purpose lease.

Set on a coastal plain surrounded by hills, Kingston contains a substantial set of nineteenth-century 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 picturesque, largely undeveloped cultural landscape which retains late eighteenth and early nineteenth- century characteristics.

The site is described in the Australian Heritage Database as:


About 250ha, at Kingston, being an area bounded by a line commencing at the High Water Mark approximately 120m to the south east of Bloody Bridge, then proceeding westerly via the High Water Mark to about 230m west of the eastern boundary of Block 91a, then from high water level following the watershed boundary along the ridge west of Watermill Creek up to the 90m contour, then north-westerly via that contour to the boundary of Block 176, then following the western and northern boundary of Block 176 or the 90m ASL (whichever is the lower) to the north west corner of Block 52r, then via the northern boundary of Block 52r and its prolongation across Taylors Road to the western boundary of Block 79a, then northerly and easterly via the western and northern boundary of Block 79a to its intersection with the 90m ASL, then easterly via the 90m ASL to its intersection with the eastern boundary of Block 64b, then south easterly via the eastern boundary of Block 64b to its intersection with Block 65d2, then northerly and southerly via the northern and eastern boundary of Block 65d2 to Rooty Hill Road, then directly across this road to the north east corner of Block 67a, then south easterly via the north east boundary of Block 67a to its intersection with the north west boundary of Block 67c, then north easterly and south easterly via the north west and north east boundary  of Block 67c to Driver Christian Road, then easterly via the southern side of Driver Christian Road to a point where it veers south (approximately 60 metres to the east), then southerly via the western road reserve boundary of Driver Christian Road and its prolongation to the High Water Mark (point of commencement).


Figure 1.1 Norfolk Island is in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 1400km east of mainland Australia. (Source: 2007 CMP)





Figure 1.2 Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (the KAVHA site), Norfolk Island. This boundary depicts the area included in the World Heritage List and National Heritage List. (Source: Australian Heritage Database: <http://www.environment.gov.au/node/19668>)



Figure 1.3 Norfolk Island, showing the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area. (Source: 2007 CMP with additions by Jean Rice)



Figure 1.4 Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area, showing Commonwealth land, Crown land, Crown freehold, and freehold and Crown lease lands. The Commonwealth Heritage Listing applies only to the Commonwealth land. (Source: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development)


1.2.1 Boundaries


The boundary of the KAVHA site was first defined in the 1980 Management Plan and subsequently in the Register of the National Estate (RNE). Both the World Heritage inscribed area and the boundary that describes the area included in the National Heritage List are based on the boundary first outlined for the RNE. The Commonwealth Heritage Listed area excludes all private freehold land areas as the listing can only apply to Commonwealth land.














1.2.2 Terminology


The term ‘KAVHA’ is commonly used to refer to the general area of Kingston and Watermill Valley (Arthur’s Vale). The term ‘KAVHA site’ is used to refer to the study area for this Heritage Management Plan; that is, the place which is included on the National Heritage List and which forms one of the 11 properties that together constitute the Australian Convict Sites (shown outlined in red in Figure 1.4 above). In some historical references, citations and quoted material within the HMP, the term ‘KAVHA’ is used to refer to the KAVHA site.

The term ‘Norfolk Island administration’ has been used in this HMP to mean both the administration of Norfolk Island (at present) and the Norfolk Island Regional Council (once elected and operational).

Different nomenclature and numbering has been used by different authors to refer to the various settlement periods on Norfolk Island, creating some inconsistency and potential for confusion. In this HMP:

·                 ‘Polynesian Settlement’ refers to the Polynesian settlement, from c1150 to c1450 AD;


·                 ‘First (Colonial) Settlement’ refers to the period between 1788 and 1814;


·                 ‘Second (Penal) Settlement’ refers to the period between 1825 and 1855; and


·                 ‘Third (Pitcairn) Settlement’ refers to the period from 1856 to the present.


The Third (Pitcairn) Settlement commenced with the arrival of Pitcairners in 1856, but it also includes the full period since, during which people from many other cultural backgrounds have come to live on Norfolk Island. While the settlement naming relates to the first arrivals in each period, the HMP adopts an inclusive approach to all sections of the Norfolk Island community.

A Glossary of terms used in this HMP is provided in Appendix 11.1.