Consultation to come on Showground Aboriginal Place nomination

Published on 14 July 2022

Photo of Queanbeyan-Showground entrance

Following a resolution in June to support the Queanbeyan Showground’s Aboriginal Place nomination, last night Council resolved to invite Heritage NSW and the Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council to attend a workshop that will facilitate a better understanding of the intent and practical implications of an Aboriginal Place nomination.

CEO Rebecca Ryan has been in contact with the region’s Senior Heritage Officer from Heritage NSW who confirmed that the Queanbeyan Showground will maintain its community and recreational purposes following an Aboriginal Place declaration.

‘The declaration of an Aboriginal Place does not change the status of the land or affect ownership rights for Council as the Reserve Trust Manager of the showground — which is Crown Land. I wish to reassure you that the Queanbeyan Showground will be maintained as a place for the whole community and this decision by Council should not raise any concerns for the current recreational, cultural and sporting events into the future,’ Rebecca said.

‘Heritage NSW has assured Council that places of Aboriginal cultural significance can be best managed and cared for when they have a sympathetic continuing use.

‘What will be required of Council and showground users going forward is awareness, acknowledgment, and celebration of these values.’

The showground is already listed on the State Heritage Register for its Aboriginal cultural heritage values and is registered as a traditional gathering, ceremony, and burial site on the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System.

Heritage NSW has confirmed that declaring the showground as an Aboriginal Place will not result in any additional permits and approvals for usage. Where activities or works are planned that would impact the Aboriginal cultural heritage values of the site, Council is already required to consult with Aboriginal stakeholders.

‘The consultation by Heritage NSW is anticipated to be completed by December 2022. They will undertake the production of the Aboriginal Place Management Plan that will be placed on public exhibition before gazettal and approval by the Minister. Council will ensure the Queanbeyan Showground Advisory Committee, the Show Society and all other user groups are invited to any meetings or workshops with Heritage NSW as soon as a date is known,’ concluded Rebecca.