All three levels of Government have come together with the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife to protect a high conservation area known as Heritage Estates. The Estates are located at Worrowing Heights next to Vincentia and Erowal Bay, in the Shoalhaven City Council area on the South Coast of New South Wales.

Heritage Estates is an important tract of natural vegetation that contains a wide range of species and allows them to travel between Booderee National Park and other habitats. Developing it would isolate the species within Booderee, making it a much less healthy habitat and ecosystem.

Heritage Estates is a 180 hectare "paper" subdivision of approximately 1,200 lots. The rural zoning, which has been in place since 1964, generally prevents individual lots from being developed.

In 2009, a residential development proposal for Heritage Estates was rejected under the Federal Government’sEnvironment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This was due to the land’s significant biodiversity values and the impacts development would have on Booderee National Park.

Voluntary Heritage Estates Land Project

The Voluntary Heritage Estates Land Project will provide a solution to the long term land tenure issue. It also aims to provide some closure for affected landowners.

The Australian Government, through its Caring for our Country grant program, has provided more than $5.4 million to fund the project. The project is being managed by FNPW, a not-for-profit organisation, which has also donated $60,000.

The project will see the purchase of as many lots within Heritage Estates as possible for inclusion into Jervis Bay National Park, for permanent protection.

Adding these lots to the National Park will provided added security to the habitats of the 26 threatened species known to exist in the area including the endangered Eastern Bristlebird and the vulnerable Leafless Tongue-orchid.

Local and state governments are also playing critical roles in this project. Shoalhaven City Council is donating the land it owns within Heritage Estates to the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage for inclusion in Jervis Bay National Park. It will also at the appropriate point rezone all remaining privately-owned Heritage Estates lots to E2 Environmental Conservation.

The NSW Government will manage the purchased land as part of Jervis Bay National Park under the Parks Plan of Management.

Together, these actions will help protect the plants and animals that call Heritage Estates home.

Landowners can find more information from this website or by contacting 1300 780 143.