15 November 2021

New Goulburn council faces heritage, development balancing act

| Sally Hopman
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The dilemma facing the people of Goulburn is how to protect their heritage city while encouraging investment in the region. Photo: Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

On the eve of the 2021 local government elections, business is booming in Goulburn.

Both commercial and residential real estate prices are rising at a rapid rate with increasing demand for property in the heritage city from investors nationally.

Increasing numbers of people from Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne are looking to move to cities like Goulburn for quality of life – and cheaper real estate. But at what price?

Are the reasons they want to move there to the detriment of why it was attractive in the first place?

This is one of the issues facing a new Goulburn Mulwaree Council – how to balance necessary development with the city’s prized heritage status.

The Mayor of Goulburn Bob Kirk, who is standing for local government election again on December 4, believes development and heritage can work hand-in-hand.

READ ALSO Electoral Commission under fire after application process sees popular council candidates ruled out

He said in the past, some buildings had gone by the wayside where development had occurred, but that there was now a change in thinking that the heritage precinct was highly valued as both a visitor and investment magnet for the city.

“That’s why people are coming here,” he said.

“Because of the history of the place. I don’t see any conflict with heritage and development if it’s managed in an acceptable way.”

Cr Kirk said one of the key issues facing the new council would be the proposed $600 million incinerator development for the old Woodlawn site at Tarago, about 40km from Goulburn.

Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk. Photo: Supplied.

With the plans scheduled for the potential waste material site to go before NSW planning authorities soon, the new council will have input into the decision and it has already moved to oppose the project.

Cr Kirk said it was important for the council to have a say because the Tarago proposal had widespread ramifications not just for the city, but as far afield as Canberra and Queanbeyan.

“We know the plans for it are about to be lodged, so it will be a big issue for the next council,” he said.

“We also know there is already great community opposition to it because its effect will be so widespread. What we don’t know is what will be in the plume from the exhaust, whether it will be dangerous or hazardous. It may not be toxic on a day-to-day basis, but what about its long-term effects – on human health, animals, farm production and water?”

He said it was important for the new council to raise awareness of the impact of such a proposal once all the planning information was known.

Twelve ungrouped candidates and a group of five Labor candidates have been nominated for the 2021 Goulburn Mulwaree Council election.

The order on the ballot paper, as drawn last Thursday by Returning Officer Lars Gudiksen was:


  • Andrew Banfield (Independent) Trade
  • Adam Milani (Independent) Farmer
  • Margaret O’Neill (Independent) CEO Challenge Foundation
  • Michael Prevedello (Independent) Radio journalist
  • Carol James
  • Daniel Strickland (Independent)
  • Steven Ruddell (Independent) Driving instructor
  • Andy Wood (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) Teacher
  • Peter Walker (Independent) Retired
  • Timothy Dally (Independent) TAFE teacher
  • Bob Kirk (Independent) Retired JP
  • Leah Ferrara (The Greens)

A Labor ticket of Jason Shepherd, Anna Wurth-Crawford, Danielle Marsden-Ballard, Warren Murray, Nathan Smith, will be listed separately on the ballot paper.

The nine candidates with the highest votes will be elected to council.

More information about the local government election is available on the website

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