The declining condition of the former Fisher's Ghost Restaurant in Queen Street was discussed at a meeting of the Heritage Protection Sub Committee meeting held at the end of last year. The declining condition of the 1845 building, damaged by fire in 2005, has been an ongoing frustration for Council over recent years, with Council having no legal ability to compel a private owner to appropriately maintain a local listed heritage item. Council has previously written to the State Government requesting that the Heritage Act 1977 be amended to require a minimum standard of maintenance for local heritage listed items, similar to that required for State listed heritage items. No changes have occured to suitably address these concerns raised by council.
As such, Council's enforcement action for the building has been limited to ensuring a minimum standard of public health and safety under the Local Government Act 1993. Consequently, this has only resulted in a basic level of maintenance being undertaken.
It was agreed by the committee that the deteriorating condition of the building needed to be addressed. It was requested that council write to the State Member for Campbelltown requesting that representations be made to appropriate authorities on Council's behalf to arrange for required restoration works for the building, and if possible assistance with listing the item on the State Heritage Register.
Let's hope something can be done to save this much loved local icon.