A collection of Sydney streets, parks and buildings rich in history dating back to the first decades of British settlement have been added to Australia’s National Heritage List.
The 100-hectare site east of the CBD includes the site of the first Government House, Hyde Park Barracks, the Conservatorium of Music which was once government stables, the Mint, Parliament House, Hyde Park, the Domain, Macquarie Place, and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The area is known as Governors’ Domain and Civic Precinct.
The National Heritage List protects places that reflect Australia’s unique landscape, Indigenous cultures and development of the nation.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the precinct contained a rich collection of historic and archaeological sites representing important milestones in the nation’s history.
She described it as “a layered landscape which can vividly show how the area has evolved over time, from its earliest use by Aboriginal people through to its role as a penal colony and early European settlement, and vibrant modern city”.
“For the first several decades after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Aboriginal people and colonisers lived in close proximity, establishing relationships with each other within a wider story of Indigenous contact and colonisation,” Ms Ley said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The precinct depicts a society in transition and its range of archaeological assets provide a rare and valuable source of research into Australia’s early colonial history.”
Ms Ley has asked the Australian Heritage Council to prioritise Indigenous cultural heritage when assessing upcoming nominations for listings, which are open until February 25.
“Our First Nations people have lived here for tens of thousands of years, and I want to see more places listed for their Indigenous values,” she said.