NSW Government auction of ‘Arnott Holme’ Albert Rd Strathfield

img_20220822_1946580612The Strathfield-Homebush District Historical Society has become aware of the proposed auction of ‘Arnott Holme’, 65-69 Albert Road Strathfield by estate agents, Belle Property.  Until recently, this property was a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) education office, which is owned by the NSW Government. This property was purchased in 1954 for £12,000 by the NSW Department of Education for the purposes of establishing a school for disabled children. Though the use of the premises later changed to a TAFE education office, the property has been maintained in the Strathfield area for nearly 70 years as a public educational institution.

it is obvious from the response of many concerned local residents that there has been no community consultation regarding the sale of this publicly owned asset. 
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on October 28 2021 that up to 19 TAFE campuses across NSW have been earmarked for sale.  The Strathfield property was not mentioned in the article or other public reporting.  Therefore, the erection of an auction notice on the site, has generated significant public concern about the future of the property and the privatisation of a publicly owned asset.  

Given the increases in population and demand for community facilities in the Strathfield area, why is the NSW Government able to sell off public assets without any notification, any apparent consideration about potential community uses of the property or any consultation with the local community?  These assets were acquired and have been maintained from public funding. If TAFE no longer needs the facility, why not commence discussions with other public agencies or Strathfield Council regarding utilisation of the property for community use? 

The property has significant historical and heritage value to the local community.  It is a heritage item listed on Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan and is recognised by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Register of Significant Buildings in NSW as an item of historical and heritage significance.    

‘Arnott Holme’ was built in 1900 as a home for its owner William Arnott, founder of Arnott’s Biscuits, Australia’s largest biscuit company.  The Federation style house occupies a large site set within a mature garden landscape.  After Arnott’s death and until it was sold in 1954 to the Department of Education, it was owned and/or occupied by a number of prominent residents including Harry Jackett MP and Arthur Cozens, a tobacco merchant.  

The Society has sent a letter to the Member for Parliament for Strathfield, Jason Yat Sen-Li, requesting representations are made to the NSW Government and Department of Education regarding this process, which appears to have not included any transparency regarding the closure of the TAFE office and plans for disposal of a public asset.

5 thoughts on “NSW Government auction of ‘Arnott Holme’ Albert Rd Strathfield

  1. Margaret Sadler August 26, 2022 / 4:50 pm

    Thanks for this info regarding a desperate attempt to profit from a public asset. Shameful decision. Happy to sign a petition and am already preparing a letter to the local MP.


  2. Concerned resident September 1, 2022 / 8:48 am

    This shouldn’t be sold, it’s a disgrace


  3. Harri September 3, 2022 / 1:38 pm

    Just noticed this in amongst the SMH Domain ads and looking at the photos. What a disgrace the way the buildings have NOT been maintained by the NSW Government despite the heritage status. Absolutely shocked by the neglect. Perhaps a private buyer could look after it better?


    • joey September 26, 2022 / 5:20 pm

      I went in person to inspect it as I admit I was an interested party. Neglect is an understatement. Work needed is absolutely massive. A private buyer would have to spend 7 figures just to get it up to scratch again, and that is before any improvements. Foundations have structural issues, major defects everywhere. It seriously has not been kept well by the state government. I think they know this hence the reason for sale


  4. Chris October 9, 2022 / 10:49 pm

    The sale was part of the “efficiency savings” asked of NSW Government departments by the current NSW Government.

    NSW DoE has obviously deemed this valuable asset as surplus and a means of making some dollars.


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