Norfolk Island reserve joins Commonwealth Heritage List

Cascade Reserve in the north of Norfolk Island has been added to the Commonwealth Heritage List, recognising the area’s significance for Australia’s early history and strong association with travel, transport and recreation for Norfolk Islanders.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the 23-hectare area, located over 1400 kilometres off the east coast of Brisbane, has been used as a landing site since 1788 and is home to a rich collection of archaeological sites.

“The history of Cascade Reserve stretches back to the earliest moments in our nation’s colonial history when the HMS Supply arrived at Norfolk Island in 1788 to investigate the usefulness of the pines and flax spotted some fourteen years previously,” Minister Ley said.

“The area was used during both convict settlements on Norfolk Island in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and now hosts a wide variety of archaeological remains which can contribute to our understanding of these periods.

“This is the seventh Norfolk Island site to be included on the Commonwealth Heritage List joining Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area, which is also on the World Heritage List as part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.”

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino said Cascade Reserve has a strong significance for the Norfolk Islander community who continue to use it for fishing, picnics and to enjoy the natural environment.

“As one of only two landing sites, Cascade Reserve has long been an important point of contact between Norfolk Island and the rest of the world by accommodating trade, transport and communication,” Assistant Minister Marino said.

“This beautiful coastal area was first declared a reserve in 1860 and continues to be important in the heritage and everyday lives of Norfolk Island residents.”

Commonwealth Heritage listing does not increase the regulatory arrangements that are already in place to protect the heritage values of the environment on Commonwealth land under national environmental law.

Inclusion on the Commonwealth Heritage List increases awareness of the significance of the site, identifying the particular heritage values of the area and where they are located. The pier at Cascade Reserve, which is the site of a potential development to upgrade infrastructure, is not included in the listing.

The Commonwealth Heritage List includes Indigenous, historic and natural heritage places on land owned by or controlled by the Australian Government, including places connected to defence, maritime safety, and other activities that reflect Australia’s development as a nation.

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