1.1 Background and purpose

AMSA is the Commonwealth agency responsible for marine AtoN. Our network includes the Montague Island Lighthouse in NSW built in 1881.

The EPBC Act 1999 requires the preparation of management plans that satisfy the obligations included in Schedule 7A and 7B of the EPBC Regulations 2000. The principal features of this management plan are:

  • a description of the place, its heritage values, their condition and the method used to assess its significance
  • an administrative management framework
  • a description of any proposals for change
  • an array of conservation policies that protect and manage the place
  • an implementation plan
  • ways the policies will be monitored and how the management plan will be reviewed.

We have commissioned this heritage management plan to guide the future conservation of the place.

This plan provides the framework and basis for the conservation and best practice management of the Montague Island Lighthouse in recognition of its heritage values. The policies in this plan indicate the objectives for identification, protection, conservation and presentation of the Commonwealth heritage values of the place.

Figure 2 shows the basic planning process applied.

Figure 2. Planning process applied for heritage management (Australia ICOMOS, 1999) Figure 2. Planning process applied for heritage management (Australia ICOMOS, 1999)

1.2 Heritage management plan objectives

The objectives of this heritage management plan are to:

  • protect, conserve and manage the Commonwealth heritage values of the Montague Island Lighthouse
  • interpret and promote the Commonwealth heritage values of the Montague Island Lighthouse
  • manage use of the lightstation
  • use best practice standards, including ongoing technical and community input, and apply best available knowledge and expertise when considering actions likely to have a substantial impact on Commonwealth heritage values.

In undertaking these objectives, this plan aims to:

  • Provide for the protection and conservation of the heritage values of the place while minimising any impacts on the environment by applying the relevant environmental management requirements in a manner consistent with Commonwealth heritage management principles.
  • Take into account the significance of the Island as a cultural landscape associated with Aboriginal people over many thousands of years. 
  • Recognise that the site has been occupied by lease holders since the early 20th century. 
  • Encourage site use that is compatible with the historical fabric, infrastructure and general environment. 
  • Record and document maintenance works, and changes to the fabric, in the Montague Island fabric register (See Section 4 Fabric). 

The organisational planning cycle and associated budgeting process is used to confirm requirements, allocate funding, and manage delivery of maintenance activities. Detailed planning for the aids to navigation network is managed through our internal planning processes and budgeting. 

An interactive map showing many AMSA’s heritage sites, including Montague Island, can be found on AMSA’s online Interactive Heritage Lighthouse Map.a

1.3 Methodology

The methods to prepare this plan are consistent with the recommendations of The Burra Charter. The plan addresses: 

  • The history of the site based on information sourced from archival research, expert knowledge and documentary resources.
  • The description of the site based on information sourced from site inspection reports and fabric registers.
  • The Commonwealth heritage criterions satisfied by Montague Island as set out by the EPBC Act 1999 and EPBC Regulations (2000).

The EPBC Regulations (2000) Schedule 7A (h) (i-xiii) was used to develop the necessary policies for management of the Montague Island Lighthouse, and the Department of the Environment and Energy advised on best practice management approaches. 

The draft management plan was advertised in accordance with the EPBC Act 1999 and EPBC Regulations (2000). A response was received proposing the placement of a concessionaire on the Island. This request was passed onto NSW NPWS and was not incorporated into the final document.

The Wagonga Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC) was consulted with in April 2020, and information on the Island’s history, and aboriginal associations were incorporated into the management plan. The Council’s request to erect a symbol on the island was also incorporated in this management plan and will be included within the Fabric Register section in future versions of this plan. 

Consultations with the WLALC are still currently ongoing and we anticipate further feedback. This feedback will be included in an amended version of the plan.

The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service was consulted with in March 2020 and provided AMSA with feedback on the plan as a whole. Their edits relating to the history of the Island, the site’s current uses, and policies on management were incorporated into the final document. 

A developed draft was submitted to the Minister through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment where advice was sought from the Australian Heritage Council. On 26 August 2020, the Australian Heritage Council advised that the plan was not inconsistent with the Commonwealth Heritage Management Principles, and gave approval.

No updates or amendments have been made in this version of the plan. Future updates and amendments will be listed here in later versions.

1.4 Status

This plan has been adopted by AMSA in accordance with Schedule 7A (Management plans for Commonwealth Heritage places) and Schedule 7B (Commonwealth Heritage management principles) of the EPBC Regulations (2000) to guide the management of the place and for inclusion in the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

1.5 Authorship

This plan has been prepared by AMSA. At the initial time of publication, Australian Maritime Systems Group (AMSG) is the contracted maintenance provider for the Commonwealth Government’s AtoN network including Montague Island Lighthouse.

1.6 Acknowledgements

AMSA acknowledges the professional assistance of Peter Marquis-Kyle, heritage architect.

1.7 Language

For clarity and consistency, some words in this plan such as restoration, reconstruction, and preservation, are used with the meanings defined in the Burra Charter 1. See Appendix 1 Glossary of heritage conservation terms. Also see Appendix 2 Glossary of lighthouse terminology relevant to Montague Island Lighthouse, which sets out the technical terminology used in this plan.

1.8 Previous reports

A Supplementary Information Report (NPWS Lighthouses – Conservation Management and Cultural Tourism Plan) was completed by Graham Brooks and Associates Pty Ltd in November 2001 for the NSW NPWS.

A Heritage Lighthouse Report was completed for AMSA by heritage architect Peter Marquis-Kyle in 2007.

1.9 Sources of information and images

This plan has incorporated a number of sources including the National Archives of Australia (NAA), National Library of Australia (NLA), as well as the AMSA heritage collection.

Photos with no credit are solely owned by AMSA.

Website URLs are referenced via superscript (for example Montague Island Reportx) and located at the end of the document (See Website Links).

1 Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter (2013)