Wentworth Shire Council continues to actively encourage and support the conservation of Wentworth’s historic buildings and homes.
Council has worked closely with former heritage advisor Garry Stanley to ensure the township’s heritage is preserved for those living and working in the town, for the enjoyment of the many visitors to our area and in perpetuity for future generations.
The guiding document for many of the works already completed under the initiative, those in progress at present and those planned for the future is the comprehensive Wentworth Heritage Study, completed by Hassell Planning Consultants Pty Ltd in the late 1980s.
The study was undertaken at the request of Council, keen to preserve the town’s unique character and national historical significance.
Specialist input to the Study was provided by archaeologist Colin Pardoe and funding assistance through the National Estates Program.
Council, Government authorities and the local community have long recognised the extensive heritage significance of the Wentworth Shire. However, due to the size of the Shire previous historical investigations have been limited to selected areas.
The Hassell Study provided a more detailed and comprehensive assessment of the Shire’s heritage.
The Study involved the identification and assessment of items of heritage significance within the Shire and the formulation of practical recommendations relating to the recognition, preservation and restoration of those items.
The assessment of the heritage significance of the Wentworth Shire involved a lengthy investigation of historical documents, publications, unpublished material, surveys, plans, newspaper articles and photographs.
Discussions were held with members of the community, the National Trust and relevant government authorities while the late Jeff Whyte, a local historian, provided valuable assistance and material for the purposes of the Study.
Additionally, recent local publications relating to the history of Wentworth, Pooncarie, Gol Gol and Coomealla enabled quick reference to places and events of local historical importance.
The research enabled the formulation of a thematic history of the Shire and particular “snap shot” periods were selected to represent important phases of the development of the Shire.
The periods included the following:
- 1829-1845: Exploration and the Overland Route
- 1846-1860: Squatters and Townships
- 1861-1870: The River Trade
- 1871-1880: Municipality and Pastoral Expansion
- 1881-1890: Droughts, Deluge and Rabbits
- 1891-1900: Resumption and Settlement
- 1901-1910: Irrigation
- 1911-1930: Weirs, Locks, Roads and Rail
- 1956: The Great Flood
A regular report on the progress of the works is contained within several of Council’s monthly meeting agendas each year.