The NSW government has decided against granting the Sirius building heritage status, which was the Brutalist relic’s lifeline.
NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton announced yesterday she won’t grant the heritage status and has instead moved a proposal to demolish and redevelop it into a $120 million apartment building.
“My role is to decide whether the building has aesthetic value and, if so, whether that value is such as to satisfy [heritage value] at a state level,” Upton said in an official decision published yesterday. “While the Sirius building is distinctive, in my view, it is not a landmark worthy of state heritage protection.”
In response to the decision Shaun Carter, the chairperson of community-led action group Save Our Sirius, said: “[We believe] this is an ignorant decision made by an out of touch government who have stopped listening to the people and are riding roughshod over the NSW landscape.”
The announcement comes days after Sirius was listed on international heritage watchdog list the World Monument Fund (WMF).
But those campaigning to save Sirius have not lost hope. They are planning a legal appeal.
“Save Our Sirius will continue the fight. If there is a legal avenue to pursue, we will pursue it with all our might,” says Shaun Carter. “We will not stop this fight until Sirius is saved. If that means we need to stand in front of the wrecking ball, we will do that too.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, estimates filed in court suggest the state government could get north of $120 million for developing the site. The government has said the sale of the 79-unit block would allow for the construction of another social housing block with 240 units elsewhere.