Labor promises to put Camden town centre on state heritage register

Camden town centre's heritage feel and old-world buildings have long attracted visitors and residents alike.

Now, the NSW Labor party has promised to protect the town's iconic character by adding it to the state heritage register.

Deputy Labor leader and Environment and Heritage spokeswoman Penny Sharpe announced Labor’s plan to protect and celebrate the state’s heritage in Camden last week.

The Camden town centre is listed as one of the party's top heritage sites in need of protection.

Camden Labor candidate Sally Quinnell praised the announcement.

"I am so proud that Camden town centre is one of our top heritage commitments," she said.

"I congratulate the hard work of the community, especially the Camden Resident Action Group to ensure Camden's iconic buildings are saved.

"If I am privileged enough to be elected Camden's state member of parliament, I will loudly and proudly keep up the fight to protect Camden's heritage".

Camden historian Dr Ian Willis said adding the town centre to the heritage register would be a step in the right direction.

"Back in 2006 renowned Sydney heritage architect Hector Abraham said Camden was the 'best preserved rural town in the entire Cumberland plain','' he said.

"I agree with that.

"The shape and height and set back of the buildings has not really been altered since the 1940s even though shops have come and gone."

Dr Willis said some of the town's historic buildings were of state significance and should be preserved.

"The layout of the town is still as it was in 1840 when Camden was established," he said.

"The street names are still the same."

Dr Willis said the heritage listing would improve Camden's tourism appeal.

"I think it would be welcomed by local business owners because Camden is an ideal day trip destination," he said.

"Braidwood was also heritage listed and it lifted its profile, it has greater publicity and more visitation.

"That would bring more people and more jobs to town."

Ms Sharpe said Labor would create the first Heritage Strategy for NSW, deliver specific laws to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage and close the loopholes in heritage laws if the party was elected in March.

"I know how much the people of Camden value their unique heritage," she said.

"The stories of Camden are told through the buildings and landscapes.

"NSW Labor is committed to getting a proper recommendation to the Heritage Council to look at listing the township of Camden.

"Cuts to the Heritage Department has meant that the recommendation to heritage protect Camden have gone nowhere."