Australia’s first large dam and one of the world’s earliest arch dams has been given the State’s highest level of heritage protection.
NSW Minister for Heritage, Robyn Parker, announced last week (Friday 23 March) that Lake Parramatta Dam had been added to the State Heritage Register, recognising its importance to Australia’s engineering heritage.
“Dating from 1853, Lake Parramatta Dam is a sandstone cylindrical arch dam with a vertical face that became a prototype for later concrete cylindrical arch dams,” Ms Parker said.
“The Dam has long been recognised by the engineering fraternity as a landmark dam. It is understood to have set the design precedent for later concrete cylindrical arch dams in Australia as well as internationally.
“Listing on the State Heritage Register is additional recognition and also reflects the dam’s importance to local history and will ensure it is preserved for future generations.”
The Liberal MP for Baulkham Hills David Elliott welcomed the heritage listing of the Lake Parramatta Dam.
“I congratulate the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Heritage Council in preserving this important piece of history for the people of western Sydney,” Mr Elliott said
The dam is believed to have been designed by Captain Percy Simpson, an important figure in NSW colonial history, who also supervised the construction of Great North Road.
Lake Parramatta Dam was originally built to supply drinking water to the rapidly growing colonial settlement of Parramatta, but is now used for water storage and is a landmark feature of Lake Parramatta Reserve, a popular recreation area.
State heritage listing means that the site is protected under the Heritage Act for future generations, and that any major works on the site would be subject to decisions or advice from the Heritage Council of NSW.