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Wirrimbirra Sanctuary: National Trust responds to Stead Foundation concerns

The National Trust says it will soon reveal who it has selected to manage 3105 Remembrance Driveway, Bargo, popularly known as Wirrimbirra Sanctuary.

It will do so once legal contracts have been completed, in mid-October.

Responding to the concerns of members of the Stead Foundation – which was unsuccessful in its bid to continue managing Wirrimbirra – the Trust has issued a media release in which it says that it is not profiting from the new lease of the property.

“The National Trust and the successful candidate are highly cognisant of the heritage value of the property and the environmental significance of the place,’’ it said.

“This has been an important criteria for the board of the National Trust during the assessment of submissions made during the Expression of Interest process, and in the board’s final decision on the successful candidate,’’ said the Trust.

In July 2018, the National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) – to give it its full title – launched an open Expression of Interest (EOI) process with respect to the future management of the property located at 3105 Remembrance Driveway, Bargo, where Wirrimbirra Sanctuary operates.

On July 11 this year, the National Trust communicated publicly online, to the media, and directly with all candidates that a successful candidate had been decided on through the EOI process.

“The National Trust acknowledges there has been a long history with the property 3105 Remembrance Driveway at Bargo, the David .G. Memorial Wild Life Research Foundation of Australia (Stead Foundation) and Wirrimbirra Sanctuary,’’ it said in the media statement.

“It is also very understandable that members of the Stead Foundation are passionate about ensuring the long term future of 3105 Remembrance Driveway, Bargo.

 “The National Trust’s primary concern has been the protection of this significant place and ensuring its long term sustainability.’’

The Trust says some of the key facts relevant to the property are:

In 1965 the freehold tile of the property, 3105 Remembrance Driveway, Bargo was transferred to the National Trust;

During the course of owning the property for such a significant length of time, the National Trust has contributed funds for capital buildings, improvements and maintenance;

In 2002 the property was listed on the State Heritage Register. The significance of the property will not be impacted through a change in who is managing and leasing the site;

In 2012 the National Trust entered into a two-year lease with both the Stead Foundation and the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society (ANDCS) as the previous 10-year lease had expired;

In 2014 the two-year leases (referred to above) had expired but remained current under held over provisions.;

The open EOI process that commenced in 2018, specifically sought applications from parties that had a clear vision and plan for the future of the property, and that also respected its history and protected the significance of the site.

“The National Trust’s considered view is that the successful candidate is the best organisation to fulfil these objectives,’’ it said in the media release.

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