The former summer residence of NSW Governors, the beautiful 'Hillview' property in the Southern Highlands, will be affected by a proposal to undertake coal exploration in the Southern Highlands by the South Korean miner POSCO.
'Hillview' is regarded by the Heritage Council as having exceptional significance to the people of New South Wales. From the description of the house as the most intact vice regal summer residence to survive, it would seem that the property is of considerable significance to the nation as well.
The vice regal country residence between 1882 and 1957, it was used by 16 governors over a period of 75 years.
According to the Heritage Council, Hillview reflects government policies, attitudes and budgetary considerations from 1882 to 1957. The site retains its curtilage from the early 1870's and the buildings are essentially in the form they were in 1899 with only minor alterations since.
The viceregal contents are largely intact and clearly indicate the way the buildings were occupied and used.
…rare surviving collection…
The Heritage Council says that the house and its assemblage are a rare surviving collection that not only relate to its gubernatorial occupation, but also demonstrate the ways of life, taste and decoration from the 1880’s through to the 1950’s. Their value is enhanced as the place has been largely untouched since 1957 following the departure of the last governor prior to the sale of the property. As the most intact government summer residence to survive, Hillview provides insights into the lives and styles of the governors that the Heritage Council says is not seen at Government House in Sydney. Both the Heritage Council and the NSW Environment Minister seem to have signed off on the coal exploration plans. Comments on and objections to the proposal may be sent to the Heritage Council until 12 July at [email protected]