MP calls on Georges River Council to protect historic 'Glenlee' property

Paassionate: Oatley MP Mark Coure at the entrance to Glenlee in Lugarno. Picture: Supplied
Paassionate: Oatley MP Mark Coure at the entrance to Glenlee in Lugarno. Picture: Supplied

Oatley MP Mark Coure has called on Georges River Council to enact an Interim Heritage Order to allow for further investigation into the historical significance of the Glenlee property.

The iconic property on the banks of the Georges River at Lugarno could soon be demolished and transformed into 31 residential blocks.

Mr Coure said he had remained steadfast in his approach to transforming the Glenlee property into an intergenerational hub for the entire community to enjoy.

"Georges River Council has delegation under the Heritage Act 1977 to implement an Interim Heritage Order which will provide time for a thorough assessment and review of the heritage and Indigenous significance of this space," Mr Coure said.

"The Glenlee property has been preserved by the Matthei family since 1908 and the strong evidence of Indigenous occupation demonstrates that the history of this space is far greater.

"It is imperative that the historical, Indigenous and social significance of this site is properly assessed and this is a once in a generation opportunity to do so."

The homestead and surrounding bushland, which is located on the banks of the Georges River, could soon be subdivided into 31 residential lots, pending approval from the Georges River Local Planning Panel.

The development application lodged on May 6 also includes demolition works, construction of new roads, drainage and tree removal at the Glenlee property, known by locals as Lugarno Farm.

An online petition circulated by Mr Coure has now received over 1200 signatures in favour of rejecting the proposed subdivision on the property.

"This petition and my consistent communication with the community has highlighted that this precinct is not an appropriate space for large scale development," he said.

"The role of any government is to act in the best interests of local residents and I will continue to stand up for the beliefs of the St George community above all else.

Big change: The historic water side property known as Glenlee could soon be developed into 31 housing lots, pending approvals. Picture: Supplied

Big change: The historic water side property known as Glenlee could soon be developed into 31 housing lots, pending approvals. Picture: Supplied

"I am calling on Georges River Council to enact this Interim Heritage Order to protect the Lugarno community from overdevelopment while safeguarding the historical and Indigenous significance of this space for generations to come.

"I will also continue to express the importance of rejecting this development application within both the NSW and Australian Governments to address all possible avenues of support.

"This precinct has been home to the Matthei family for more than 110 years and the evidence of Indigenous occupation demonstrates that the history of this space is far greater.

"It is fundamental that we maintain the natural biodiversity of the Georges River and the Lugarno foreshore to protect native wildlife, including echidnas and local swamp wallabies."

Lugarno residents have also banded together to fight the demolition and redevelopment of the historic property.

Local author, Glenyss Barnham, formed the Save Glenlee Resident Action Group to raise awareness about the issue.

She said she was passionate about Lugarno's history and environment.

"When I read that this significant piece of Lugarno's historical, cultural landscape and 200 trees were proposed to be demolished or destroyed, I was outraged," Ms Barnham said.

"Trees including mature trees that are 70 to 80 years old, historic trees, trees that contribute significantly to the area's health.

"I knew I couldn't stop it myself, but I believe in people power."

To sign the digital petition, visit: forms.gle/13mbBYRQEPdQma6B9.