Since the 1940s, the Trust has led campaigns to protect significant heritage at risk, whether built, natural or cultural.

In the early years, before widespread community awareness of the value of heritage, we often had to take campaigns to the streets to protect built and natural heritage alike from the ravages of development. We saved much, but even so, grand houses were felled to become car parks, whole suburbs were razed to build roads, and many colonial and Victorian period buildings were demolished.

Destruction of significant heritage still occurs and the Trust is prepared to act quickly when we are alerted to threats. However, our role today is also to lobby and negotiate to ensure that developers and governments cannot sweep away irreplaceable heritage in the name of progress. At the same time, we seek to raise community awareness of what is at stake.

With the support of professionals concerned with all aspects of heritage conservation, architecture and planning, we support sympathetic reuse which recognises and integrates valued heritage. As an example, the National Trust’s Alternative Concepts for the proposed redevelopment of the 22 hectare Barangaroo site on Sydney’s Harbour, had suggested ways of enhancing the development by incorporating, rather than ignoring, the rich maritime, indigenous and environmental heritage of the site.

At a local level we work with communities to protect places that are important to their neighbourhoods. We are currently examining and commenting on the heritage impacts of inner city motorways such as WestConnex, and the impacts of coal mining on cultural landscapes, historic buildings and critical ecological systems.

Longstanding issues include the sale of historic properties in Millers Point/The Rocks with inadequate heritage protection, and the protection of fragile ecosystems such as Cliefden Caves near Cowra which are threatened by a dam proposal on the Belubula River.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Heritage Listing? Can I paint my heritage property? Can I demolish a heritage item?

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Restoration Appeals

The National Trust can establish tax-deductible restoration appeals.

Restoration Appeals

National Trust Principles

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Advocacy Campaigns

Industrial Heritage – The Historical Importance of Sewerage Infrastructure

It is surprising to hear that anyone would have concerns about the heritage-listing of sewerage systems, thinking them “bizarre” and it does indicate that

NSW State Election 2019

The National Trust (NSW) has outlined the key issues in relation to heritage it has highlighted to parliamentarians for the 2019 state election.

Robb College demolition begins

Section 34 of the Heritage Act, 1977 states that within 14 days after the Heritage Council makes a recommendation for listing to the Minister, the Minister

National Trust recognises Four in Hand Hotel, Paddington

“Faced with the sale of the Four in Hand Hotel at Paddington and considerable community concern at potential redevelopment plans and its loss as a much loved

Chief Secretary’s Building

The Heritage Award Winning Entry noted –   “The Chief Secretary’s Building commands an elevated position on Bridge Street, Sydney, opposite

State Significant Varroville property threatened by cemetery development

    The National Trust again lodges its strongest objection to this proposal to construct and operate a cemetery directly adjoining historic

Robb College

The University of New England has announced the imminent demolition of most of the State Significant, Michael Dysart designed Robb College.

Sydney Football Stadium

In June 2015 the Sydney Football Stadium was listed on the National Trust Register. The Trust strongly opposes moves for its demolition.

Environment Panel Advisory Paper for the Greater Sydney Commission

These organisations appreciate the opportunity to be involved in helping articulate the community’s voice on the importance of the environment in metro and

NSW Government Biodiversity Legislation

The National Trust has joined Stand Up for Nature, an alliance of conservation groups dedicated to improving protection for nature in NSW. The Trust will be

WestConnex – M4 East

National Trust objects to the WestConnex M4 East proposal.

Thompson Square, Windsor

Thompson Square and its pre-Macquarie archaeology, threatened by road and bridge work, must be kept intact.

The Rocks World Heritage Under Threat

Rare brutalist style Sirius Building in Sydney's The Rocks faces demolition.

Cliefden Caves

Cliefden Caves on the Belubula River near Canowindra are threatened by dam proposals.

Impact of Coal Mining

National Trust opposes coal mining proposals that threaten Landscape Conservation Areas and Listed buildings.

Powerhouse Museum

Sydney's Ultimo Powerhouse Museum is threatened with closure, demolition and re-development.

Sydney Harbour Control Tower

The National Trust opposes the demolition of the Sydney Harbour Control Tower.

Millers Point Under Threat

Outright sale of 293 heritage buildings in Millers Point a devastating attack on Australia's nationally significant heritage.

A Vision For North Parramatta

North Parramatta's State, National and World Heritage must be conserved intact.

Call to action section

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Explore all of our past and present advocacy campaigns