Letter to Minister for Heritage, Gabrielle Upton

Today, Save Our Sirius Chairperson, Shaun Carter, has written to the NSW Heritage Minister, Gabrielle Upton. 

Our research has shown that Sirius is listed on the governments own s170 Heritage Register (a list of heritage items is required to be kept by all government departments according to section 170 of the NSW Heritage Act). 

In the letter, included below, we have asked the minister to reconsider Sirius taking into consideration all the relevant and necessary information. 



6 December 2017


The Hon. Gabrielle Upton, MBA, BA, LLB, MP
Minister for Heritage
GPO Box 5341
Sydney NSW 2001


Dear Minister

Heritage Listing – Sirius Building, The Rocks


Attached to this letter is the heritage listing of Sirius on the Department of Housing Heritage and Conservation Register ( s170, 1 April, 1995 ).

In light of the this information, and in the context of your recent refusal to support the Heritage Council’s recommendation to again list Sirius on the State heritage register we have the following questions;

Why did the Government not know of the heritage listing of Sirius when it was listed by a State Government Department?

Was this a deliberate attempt by the Government to bury this information from the public, and the considerations of the heritage of Sirius?

If this was not a deliberate attempt to subvert the heritage process of Sirius, would you consider this an oversight, and therefore would you consider this sloppy and incomplete work, and the usual practice of Government in their decision making process?

Why was Sirius’s heritage listing on the s170 Register not part of your consideration when ordered by the Court to make your decision on the State Heritage listing of Sirius?

Why is FACSNSW  s170 register not listed on the Office of Environment & Heritage website like other departments, and/or made public?

Are you aware the Government is not following its own guidelines in regards to asset Disposal and Strategic Planning?

Can you advise if a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) has, or is being, prepared for Sirius given it is:

  • a listed item,
  • within The Rocks Conservation Area, and
  • within the curtilage of the World Heritage Listing of the Opera House

When considering the heritage listing of Sirius for a second time, why did the government not seek up-to-date information on Sirius, like its s170 heritage listing and international recognition, when making your decision?

Can you explain why respected and significant heritage authorities and organisations opinions were ignored in your consideration not to list Sirius on the State Heritage Register? Why were paid local consultants opinions preferred over respected expert heritage organisations like:

  • The National Trust
  • The Australian Institute of Architects
  • The City of Sydney
  • The Historic Houses Association
  • World Monument Fund,
  • The Heritage Council, and
  • The Department of Housings s170 Heritage Register?

In light of the above, is it not reasonable to assume that you have not considered all the relevant and necessary information when making your decision to refuse the recommendation of the Heritage Council and not list Sirius on the State Heritage register? Would not a reasonable person be able to conclude you have not executed your duty as a Minister of the State of NSW to fairly and impartially considered all the relevant matters when making a decision in the public interest?

The Save Our Sirius Foundation believe you have no choice but to reconsider your decision to not support the Heritage Council’s recommendation to list Sirius on the State Heritage register. We call on you to remake your decision considering all the relevant and necessary information.

Yours sincerely


Shaun Carter
Chairman, Save Our Sirius Foundation
Immediate Past NSW President, Australian Institute of Architects

The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian
The Leader of the Opposition, Luke Foley
The Shadow Heritage Minister, Penny Sharpe
The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore