By Kate Paterson | 15 Aug 2017

The NSW Land and Environment Court has handed down its decision in the controversial Sirius case: The Sirius building on the fringe of The Rocks will not be demolished yet.

The court found the former NSW Heritage Minister’s decision not to list the iconic Sirius building in Sydney on the heritage register invalid and of no legal effect. As a result, the court has ordered the Minister to remake the decision according to law.


Justice Molesworth found that that former Minister made two errors of law when deciding not to list the building on the State Heritage Register

Why was the Minister’s decision invalid?

Justice Molesworth found that that former Minister, Mark Speakman, made two errors of law when deciding not to list the building on the State Heritage Register:

  • The Minister considered that listing the building would cause financial hardship to the building’s owner, Property NSW, without properly considering the impact on that owner,
  • The Minister failed to make a determination about the particular heritage significance of the building.

Is The Sirius building safe?

Not yet. Current Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton now needs to redo the decision about whether to list it.

For campaigners, The Sirius building is a part of Sydney’s history. It was previously recommended for listening on the Heritage Register due to its role in the 1960s and 1970s when it was used to rehouse people displaced by developments in the Rocks. It is also considered an example of brutalist architecture.

Former heritage minister Mr Speakman believed that by not listing it and demolishing it, c.$70million could instead be put towards 240 social housing units.

An interesting debate will no doubt ensue.

Want to know more?

To find out more about this decision and its implications, speak to Heritage Director Kate Paterson.

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