State Heritage Register

Following on from the Petition to NSW Parliament in 2017 (as discussed below), the Inner West Council has agreed to pursue the listing of Haberfield on the State Heritage Register (SHR).

In May 2021, Council has called for feedback on the SHR listing proposal and provided further information on the Council Your Say website.

The Haberfield Association supports the Council proposal and the detailed information Council has provided on the Your Say website. The key point as advised by Council is in their response to the question:

The Association has prepared the following brief summary which will be delivered to all properties in the area:

The following contains further historical information on listing Haberfield on the State Heritage Register.

Haberfield was a conservation area in 1985. It's time to protect this unique slice of Australian history forever. The Haberfield Association is campaigning to list the suburb on the State Heritage Register.
In late 2016 and early 2017, the Association organised a successful petition receiving about  2,500  signatures. This was presented to the NSW Parliament by Jo Haylen MP, Member for Summer Hill.

Jo Haylen MP and Vince Crow, Association President.

Haberfield’s Listing on
the State Heritage Register
October 2016

What is the State Heritage Register?
The State Heritage Register is a list of places and objects of particular importance to the people of NSW. The register lists a diverse range of over 1,650 items, in both private and public ownership. To be listed, an item must be significant for the whole of NSW. The register was created in 1999.

What is Haberfield’s Current Heritage Listing?
1978: Two areas in Haberfield were listed by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) as conservation areas. The Trust recognised Haberfield’s heritage significance.
1979: All of Haberfield was listed as a ‘classified’ conservation area- the Trust’s highest listing. National Trust ‘listing’ is only advisory and has no legal force.
1985: The Haberfield Heritage Conservation Area was gazetted in the Ashfield Local Environmental Plan by the NSW State Government. This is legally enforceable.
1990-91: Haberfield was listed on the Register of the National Estate. This register was only advisory and had no legal force. It has been superseded by the Commonwealth Heritage List on which Haberfield has not yet been listed.
1999: The NSW government established the State Heritage Register.
2002: The Minister for Planning, Andrew Refshauge, announced that the process had begun to list Haberfield on the State Heritage Register. So far, this has not happened.
The Haberfield Heritage Conservation Area is presently listed in a Local Environmental Plan. Legally, it is seen to be of local rather than State or National significance.

Why Should Haberfield be Listed on the SHR?

  • As its reasons for listing two conservation areas in Haberfield in 1978, the National Trust stated, “To preserve a prototype of the familiar Australian suburb, and an early example of departure from the denser pattern of 19th century development. The proposed areas are of interest for their fine individual houses, gardens and public tree planting; most elements of Federation style domestic architecture and residential planning are to be found in good condition” (National Trust Listing Proposal for Haberfield Conservation Areas: North and South, July-August 1978).
  • In 1979 the National Trust stated, “Haberfield is the earliest Australian garden suburb characterised by architecturally distinctive single storey suburban villas in the Federation style. These houses have a quality and detail much higher than the later copied examples” (National Trust Listing Proposal for Haberfield Historic Conservation Area, May 1979).
  • In 1990 the Australian Heritage Commission wrote, “Haberfield was Australia’s first comprehensively planned and developed Garden Suburb, establishing a model for Australia’s suburban development in the 20th century. . . . Haberfield’s significance derives from its successful adaptation of the Garden Suburb idea, and the architectural quality of its houses related in style and character, but carefully individualised in form and detail” (Australian Heritage Commission, Listing for Nomination, 1990).
  • As early as January 1914, Haberfield’s significance was recognised: “Mr. Stanton, in fact, was the pioneer of the Garden Suburb movement in New South Wales and developed his ideas all unconscious of the movement that had begun in England only a short time before Haberfield was launched. . . . (Haberfield’s) chief value lies
    in the fact that it was a pioneer effort and effectively demonstrated the soundness of Mr. Stanton’s methods in introducing so many communal and attractive features for the first time in suburban Sydney” (Garden Cities and Town Planning, page 20, January 1914).
  • Therefore, Haberfield is significant for it being the first planned Garden Suburb in Australia and for its array of architect designed houses from the Federation period. It reflects the spirit of optimistic nationalism that engendered the federation of the British colonies in Australia in 1901. Haberfield predates other internationally recognised garden cities/suburbs such as Letchworth Garden City (1903), Hampstead Garden Suburb (1906) and Welwyn Garden City (1920).

Does Haberfield fulfil the criteria for listing on the SHR?
Haberfield fulfils several criteria for listing such as:

  • An item is important in the course, or pattern, of NSW’s cultural history i.e. Sydney’s (and Australia’s) suburban development in the 20th century;
  • An item has strong or special association with the life or works of a person of importance in NSW’s cultural history i.e. Richard Stanton who introduced the planned Garden Suburb concept to Australia;
  • An item is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in NSW i.e. Federation architecture and Californian Bungalows;
  • An item has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of NSW’s cultural history i.e. urban planning in the early 20th century;
  • An item possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of NSW’s cultural history i.e. specific examples of Federation architecture, especially the portrayal of nationalism, which are potentially threatened by medium and high density developments throughout Sydney
  • An item is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of NSW’s
    - Cultural places i.e. Federation period houses and Californian Bungalows in a Garden Suburb context. Haberfield would be the most intact, complete suburb of this type in Australia;
    - Cultural environments i.e. the traditional 20th century suburban property with its backyard. Unlike other suburbs, Haberfield properties have at least 50% soft landscaping.

What are the Benefits of Haberfield being Listed?

  • Haberfield will be recognised as an important part of New South Wales’ cultural heritage and as a cultural asset to the City of Sydney and to New South Wales.
  • The listing will give increased protection against inappropriate development such as medium and high density housing. Haberfield was designed as a suburb of single storey houses.
  •  Entities such as Ausgrid will need to conform to higher standards when active in Haberfield.
  • Recognition at the state level should lead to recognition at the national level by listing on the Commonwealth Heritage Register.
  • State and national recognition might lead to funding for putting the electricity wires underground to restore the Haberfield streetscape as it was originally planned.

Will there be Increased Restrictions on Development if Haberfield is Listed?

No. The Haberfield Heritage Conservation Area will continue to be administered by the local council i.e. the Inner West Council, when assessing development applications using the relevant Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan.


In Italiano.



All'onorevole Presidente e ai membri dell'Assemblea Legislativa del NSW. Questa petizione intende portare all'attenzione dell'Assemblea il fatto che la periferia di Haberfield costituisca patrimonio di rilevanza nazionale. Di conseguenza, dovrebbe essere iscritta nel Registro del Patrimonio del NSW con urgenza, al fine di proteggere la sua storia per le generazioni future.

Il progetto stradale 'WestConnex' ha già causato la distruzione di molte case storiche in Haberfield e il significato storico dell'area è in pericolo. Noi abitanti di Haberfield (elencati di seguito) chiediamo all'Assemblea Legislativa del NSW e al governo di iniziare immediatamente i lavori per inserire l'intero codice postale 2045 sul Registro del Patrimonio.

Solo petizioni su carta originali firmate a mano possono essere presentate al Parlamento. Iniziativa autorizzata dall'Associazione Haberfield e Jo Haylen MP (deputato). Stampato utilizzando diritti parlamentari.