Berrima Gaol BuyBack Campaign
Berrima Gaol BuyBack Campaign
Berrima Gaol is more than just a building. For generations it has stood proud in the heart of the Highlands - Its unique architecture symbolising a long time gone, an important moment in our history. But until now the historic 1839 sandstone Berrima Gaol has been locked up, literally.
Now, following its closure and upcoming sale, our Gaol has the opportunity to take on a new life as a unique, vibrant community-focused hub and enterprise centre. One that is run by the community, for the community.
But there's a problem.
The NSW Government has decided to sell the Gaol and we hope that this is not shaping up to be a rushed or ill-considered sale to private developers, meaning the Gaol could fall into purely profit-making hands with all the potential community-led benefits for the Highlands the lowest of priorities. It's critical this vital community asset not only stays in the hands of the our community but flourishes as a next-generation hub providing jobs, connection, creativity, culture, capacity-building, innovation, enterprise and local development opportunities.
Will you sign our petition and support our campaign to BuyBack the Gaol for our community?
Important public assets should not be sold to private developers. They should be repurposed to deliver real and much needed benefits to the community.
Just imagine a vibrant, creative community enterprise and cultural hub in the heart of the Highlands with benefits including:
- Jobs and skills training in catering, events, arts, tourism, and hospitality
- New, innovative commercial businesses on site; hospitality and cooking school
- Youth capacity building through social empowerment and skills programs
- Support for local artists and creative industries by setting up a vibrant arts and cultural precinct on the site
- Support for Highlands local food and wine producers with a weekly Farmers' Market
- Support local tourism with a Berrima Gaol Museum
- Support for local community organisations with office, functions and exhibition spaces
The Southern Highlands stands to lose these long-term benefits if the Gaol is sold to a private developer.
We've seen how attractive the Highlands are to developers. But if the site is over-developed for new luxury townhouses outside the Gaol walls or if the interior became a boutique hotel or wedding venue - Berrima's unique colonial heritage will be at risk. And while the Gaol could be adapted to suit just a few - our community would be left without the enduring and exciting opportunities that would deliver value across the region for years to come.
We have a unique moment to act, right now, before the Government decides to sell the historic Gaol, just for the short-tem financial gain to the Treasury.
We have a Plan. But now we need to make sure the Government hears it. If we can get 5,000 signatures by the end of April, we can make sure our Berrima Gaol BuyBack is firmly on the agenda.
We will be presenting our petition to key decision makers, including our local MP, the Hon. Wendy Tuckerman, Minister for Local Government, and Minister Matt Kean, NSW Treasurer. Minister Kean has said he wants a 'magic' outcome form the sale that creates jobs and delivers positive social and community benefits. The Government needs to hear the voice of the Community - and the community deserves to enjoy the benefits for decades to come.
By signing the Petition now, we can send the Government a clear message before it's too late.
For further Information:
President, Berrima Residents Association Inc.
Mobile: 0409 823 861