Upcoming Heritage Management and Conservation Projects at Kingston

As one of Australia’s most important historical sites, the long-term management and conservation of Kingston is a key priority of the Australian Government.

Over the coming months, two critical heritage management and conservation projects at Kingston are being progressed, helping to preserve the world heritage area for residents and tourists into the long-term.

Heritage Management Plan for the HMS Sirius wreck site

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has engaged Cosmos Archaeology to develop a draft Heritage Management Plan (HMP) for the HMS Sirius wreck site.

Once completed, the HMP will guide the ongoing appropriate management of the wreck site’s archaeology and the linking of its story with the world heritage listed Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area.

Development of the draft HMP follows on from Cosmos Archaeology’s inspection in November 2020 to assess the condition of the wreck site’s National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage values.

A Cosmos Archaeology maritime archaeologist has been on island this week to work closely with Norfolk Island Museum staff and others involved in the management of the site to develop the initial draft plan. The Norfolk Island community will have the opportunity to provide input to and feedback on the draft plan through a public consultation process anticipated to take place later this year.

Repairs and conservation works to the Royal Engineers’ Office

Safety conservation works have also been taking place this week on the Royal Engineers’ Office (REO) portico to stabilise the structure. The main entrance of the REO has been closed between 27 April and 1 May 2021 while works are completed.  Access to the REO during this time will be via the side gate into the courtyard and shop.

The work is being undertaken by Cathedral Stone of Melbourne, supported by the KAVHA Works Team and MRJ Contract Services. The work is part of a focus on conservation works in this area of Kingston, with several projects now underway or in development to improve safety, conservation and public access.

The portico of the building and columns will be dismantled to repair damage caused by a vehicle impact some years ago which has weakened the structure and required the previous insertion of a new column and timber props. The portico will be reinstated at a later date once the columns and their capitals have been conserved and strengthened. It is anticipated that these works will take several months, but that ultimately the repaired structure will be reinstated as it is now, with no visible signs of the strengthening work.

For further information or discussion on either of these projects, please contact Martin Purslow (phone 23115; email martin.purslow@infrastructure.gov.au).

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

29 April 2021