The historic Kiandra Courthouse, a heritage-listed building in the Kosciuszko National Park, is being assessed after it was seriously damaged in the early January bushfires along with various other natural and cultural values.
Then-NSW Government Architect James Barnet built the courthouse in 1859 during a short gold rush period. It was the first substantial public building in the former Kiandra Township and included a police quarters and courtroom. The building was later modified and expanded in the 1950s and 60s.
A spokesperson for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment said that the building and surrounding site is being assessed for any asbestos containing material, and that the building’s structural integrity is also being determined.
“Once any burnt material that can’t be re-used is removed, this assessment will help in the next stage of stakeholder engagement in determining the outcome for Kiandra and the huts across the park,” the spokesperson said.
Recovery efforts for the parks other natural and cultural values has also begun.
“National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is working with Aboriginal communities to assess impacts on Cultural heritage and other communities to assess items like the historic huts that were destroyed in the fires,” the spokesperson said.
It is yet to be determined whether the courthouse and other surrounding structures will be rebuilt.
Despite the welcome rain across the region this week, firefighting teams are still hard at work in the Kosciuszko National Park where fires remain burning.
“Recovery efforts have begun with NPWS working with Transport for NSW to ensure their roads passing through burnt areas are safe,” the spokesperson said.
“Unstable trees are being removed and guard rails and signs are being replaced.
“NPWS is undertaking the same work on NPWS roads to enable access into the park.”