Hotel Australasia heritage listing added to shire plan

Eden's Hotel Australasia in its glory days
Eden's Hotel Australasia in its glory days

Eden’s Hotel Australasia is on track to be heritage listed on Bega Valley Shire Council’s Comprehensive Local Environment Plan.

The circa 1904 hotel building was one of six additions to the CLEP in Eden, with the Aslings Beach Rock Pool, Thompsons Point Baths at Snug Cove, Hopetoun House in Bass St, a weatherboard cottage at 243 Imlay St and the Eden Killer Whale Museum also on the list. In the case of the hotel and two ocean pools, the proposal to add them to the heritage list are new; the remaining three listings rectify omissions in an earlier CLEP.  

The council wrote to the NSW government in January requesting permission to go ahead with a total of 12 zoning, 11 heritage and other minor changes to the 2013 CLEP, across the shire.      

Department of Planning and Environment acting director for the southern region Linda Davis determined the council’s planning proposal should proceed, subject to conditions.

The key condition is that the proposal must be made publicly available for a minimum of 28 days. Council then has 12 months to finalise its CLEP.

Angela George, an Eden heritage consultant and long-time campaigner to save the Hotel Australasia, applauded council’s decision to amend its 2013 CLEP to allow for the additional heritage listings.

“I’m starting to feel like the efforts of the past three or four years are finally paying off,” Ms George said on social media on Sunday.

It was Ms George who nominated that the Aslings Beach Rock Pool and Thompsons Point Baths be heritage listed by council four years ago.

Ms George said the heritage listing on the Hotel Australasia would act as a “red flag” to council if any developer who purchased the old hotel in the future wanted to demolish it. It is currently owned by council.

While a developer could still submit a demolition DA, it would be a brave council that would turn its back on its own CLEP, she said.

Peter Whiter, president of the Eden's Australasia community group, welcomed council’s recognition of the hotel’s significance.

But he sounded a note of caution: “The letter of the law doesn’t afford it any protection at all; even though it sounds like there is some protection, it technically still could be demolished.”   

The old Bega racecourse grandstand and Kameruka Cemetery are also listed.