Beg to differ

9 Centennial ProtestIn response to Clr. Saville’s dogged pursuit of the Heritage listing of 9 Centennial Ave, Chatswood, the former owner (Jonathan Lin) has written to the North Shore Times expressing his concerns regarding the  proposed listing.


Clr. Saville’s attempts to have the property listed in 1996, 2007, 2009 and 2017 were unsuccessful. Her latest (2018) attempt looks like it might be successful.

Mr Lin challenges many of the assertions presented in the Heritage listing proposal. A transcript of his letter to the North Shore Times is reproduced below:

It is with sadness that I respond to our friend Cr Saville (“Your Say”, NST, Jan 17) concerning 9 Centennial Ave, Chatswood, our family home for more than 70 years.

Firstly, demolition by the new owners was begun in compliance with CD-2018/43, lodged October 2017, approved by Accredited Certifier on Feb. 2, 2018.

Four generations of my Chinese Australian family have lived there. Yes, we are sad to see it go. When mum went into a nursing home in 2017, we offered the house to the Education Department to help with extreme overcrowding at our old school. The Minister declined.

So it was sold to another family to develop two low-rise homes. It is a triple block by Jenkin St standards.

Our family have opposed heritage listing in 1996, 2007, 2009 and 2017. We noted mistakes in the consultant’s report and disagree that there is conclusive evidence about the house’s history.

Meanwhile the house has been deteriorating. We tried to patch it up. Sure, let’s protect our local heritage. But whose heritage? Today Chatswood is a vibrant, diverse multicultural city. So why choose a rundown building from the Federation era?

That period gave us the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 (White Australia policy) which affected my parents until its repeal in 1959. And what about the local Cammeraygal and Wallamedegal clans? We applaud Willoughby Council (and Aboriginal Heritage Office) for its 2008 work in promoting the heritage of the First Australians that lived in our area.

So let’s respect the heritage of all Australians”.

Jonathan Lin, Lane Cove