Issues & Social Media

The two major issues the Association is involved with at the moment are the West-Connex Project and the Crown Lands Act Review.

The Crown Lands Act very much affects Yasmar and how that is run and operated. Yasmar is the "Gentleman's Estate" located on Parramatta Road and was for many years a Children's Court. The house was originally built c1856 for Alexander Learmonth (1820-77) and after whom Learmonth Street is named). Learmonth was a great horticulturist and the Yasmar gardens contain significant and rare plant samples from around the world. The house is currently disused, while some of the grounds are being used by the Department of Juvenile Justice for training purposes. A sub-group of the Haberfield Association, The Friends of Yasmar, is trying to get Yasmar opened up for community use. 

The latest news is that Yasmar will be excised from the West Connex plans for the tunnels outlets. Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, announced on Wednesday 25th June 2014 that he had instructed the planners for West Connex Project to avoid using Ashfield Park and Yasmar in their plans.

For further details about this news story click here.

The West Connex Project is a NSW State Project to continue the current M4 underground from Concord to link up eventually with the M5 and Port Botany. The first stage will be from Concord to Haberfield and there will be two outlets, one in Parramatta Road and one in Wattle Street to feed into the City West Link. 

There are two more sub-groups of the Association, Westcon Action Group and Save Ashfield Park, who are gathering information and planning submissions to the State Government to try to alleviate the worst effects on the residents of Haberfield. Make no mistake, this will affect all residents of Haberfield from traffic to exhaust stacks to property resumptions and demolitions.

Of greater concern, is that under the NSW Metropolitan Regional Strategy, Parramatta Road has been defined as "an Enterprise Corridor" ranging 26Kms from the CBD to Parramatta and 4Kms wide. This corridor automatically allows for high-rise development - minimum 12 stories. The whole of Haberfield sits within this corridor and at present any heritage controls that we have enjoyed for so many years are being overridden


Listing on the State Heritage Register 2000

"There are two reasons why establishing something similar for Haberfield is rapidly becoming a matter of urgent concern.
The first is that Haberfield’s long-standing protection (such as it is) by way of listing on the Register of the National Estate is vulnerable as a result of the dilution of the Australian Heritage Commission in the recent Commonwealth Biodiversity and Environment Protection Act 1999.  Unless its own State steps in, there is a real risk its heritage status could revert to that of “just another suburb” – ie none.

"The second reason is that of timing.  Next year is not just the Centenary of Federation, but the Centenary of Haberfield – the Federation Suburb.  Its foundation in 1901 gives Haberfield not just national, but international significance.  In comparison, Hampstead Garden Suburb started in 1906, and Colonel Light Gardens planned in 1914, but not started until 1922-24."

Extract from letter to Dr.Refshauge MLA seeking assistance for listing of Haberfield on the State Heritage Register. August 2000.

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Submission to Heritage Strategy Review 2012

“As civic exemplar and custodian, the Commonwealth has a duty of care in heritage issues to put people before economics, because the people are the real owners of Commonwealth property - and the inheritors.”
Schofield Review theme quote– extract from submission to the Committee of Review, Commonwealth Owned Heritage Properties by the Haberfield Assoc, Oct 1995."

The above quote is included here, not only as introduction to The Haberfield Association (Habas) but also to highlight our credentials for comments on heritage as a matter of national concern.  We are a respected Community Group, established in 1980 and since then have been working continuously for Haberfield as a both Conservation Area, and as a 1901 Garden Suburb of international significance, to foster community spirit (this being an intrinsic part of Garden Suburb philosophy) and to support the people who live here.

Extract from submission to the Heritage Strategy Review. June 2012

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