The historic uses of the Mount Gilead site and its current condition, has informed the planning and location of urban development areas to ensure its many natural assets and heritage values are preserved.
The project area is within a broad cultural landscape occupied by the Aboriginal people of the Dharawal Aboriginal language group. Dharawal country has been argued to encompass ocean and estuarine shorelines south from Botany Bay to the Shoalhaven River, west to the George’s River and Appin, their country extending along the Upper Nepean River through the lower Wollondilly system.
This site and its landscape provided a wealth of natural resources utilised by the Dharawal, who occupied and exploited the different habitats based on seasonality and response to climactic conditions. Typical shelters were temporary windbreaks (or whirly/gonye) often made from stringy bark or paper bark. The bark was split then levered off and fired into shape. Sandstone overhangs and caves were also utilised for shelter and semi sedentary occupation by the Dharawal people. Many of these sandstone shelters were adorned with paintings, drawing, and stencils.
Dharawal people were dependent on the forest and grasslands for food and shelter, with large permanent water sources such as the Nepean River and Georges River (and some tributaries) being an integral resource providing freshwater as well as an array of freshwater fish, shellfish and molluscs. These resource zones in turn created habitat for animal resources including a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. Fire was also historically documented as being used by Aboriginal people to clear land and promote growth of fauna and flora species that were depended on for diet.
Since the 1800’s continuous and progressive agricultural activities have occurred on the development site, which has led to further progressive clearing of native vegetation across vast expanses of the site.
The predominate landform is currently large open grazing paddock with scattered shade trees cut across by natural creek lines containing remnant intact bushland areas. These creek lines, along with Woodhouse Creek and the adjacent Nepean Creek, provide a contiguous corridor of native vegetation linking Noorumba Reserve to the Nepean River and Beulah Reserve to the Nepean and Georges Rivers. These corridors and other existing bushland will form the heart of the development and will provide an expansive natural environment for the community.
The site is currently used for agricultural purposes with a small, disused shale quarry on land to the north of the “artificial lake”, in addition to remnant native vegetation, constructed dams and improved pastures.
The portion which the Mount Gilead estate was established is granted to Reuben Uther.
Gilead Farm receives government supply contract.
Thomas Rose renamed property Mt Gilead.
Rose constructs an artificial lake with 3,398,400m3 capacity. Contentiously considered the first of this type of water conservation in NSW.
Rose constructs a windmill. The 60 foot tower is made of sandstone quarried from the site. The sails, fittings and all ‘mechanical elements’ for the mill were constructed from ironbark timber from the estate.
Following Rose’s death the 200 acre Mt Gilead Estate is put to public auction, but not sold and continued to be managed by the trustee of Rose’s estate.
Property transferred to Rose’s eldest son, Charles Rose.
Site foreclosed by Sydney Insurance Company.
Site purchased by Edmund Woodhouse and flourishes.
Besides agriculture improvements and the introduction of large scale dairy operations, the estate became the social centre of the surrounding area and the colony.
Governors and Vice-Royalty were known to attend balls at the Estate and groups from Sydney regularly attended hunting parties on the grounds.
Following Woodhouse’s death, the estate is transferred to his son and during this period the estate is unsuccessfully used for sheep grazing.
The Colonial Government resumed 73Ha to construct the open cut canal as part of the Nepean Water Scheme.
After failed attempts to sell the estate, the Australian Investment Company forecloses on the mortgage.
Following numerous leasing of the Estate, the Estate is purchased by Major Denzil Macarthur-Onslow and his second wife, Lady Dorothy.
Currently owned by Mt Gilead Pty Ltd & Lendlease.
Stage 1 (Figtree Hill) Facts
Zoned for Urban Development: November 2017
Growth Centre Declaration: December 2019
Development Yield: 1,700
- REF - Appin Rd
- REF - Trunk Sewer
- EPBC (2015-7599) Granted – 21 December 2018
- Biodiversity Certification Agreement Executed – 5 July 2019
- BA 209 (Macarthur – Onslow Biobank Site) Registered – 23 January 2019
- BA 208 (Noorumba – Mt Gilead Biobank Site) Registered – 23 January 2019
- Proposed Hillsborough Biobank – Under assessment
- 22.3 hectares of koala habitat protected
- 4.5 km of dual carriage way
- 2 x existing intersections upgraded
- 2 x new intersections
- 2 x steel koala overpass structures at Noorumba Reserve and Beulah Reserve
Mount Gilead Stage 2 Facts
Development Yield: 5,000
Growth Centre Declaration: December 2019
- EPBC (2019-8587) Controlled Action Notification – 27 February 2020
- Biodiversity Certification Agreement Lodged – 23 July 2019
- 200.4 hectares of koala habitat protected
- Secures koala connectivity Between Georges and Nepean Rivers
- Provides connection across Appin Road
- 1 Km of dual carriage way
- 40m wide koala underpass