Joint media release: $60 million for Harbour Trust Heritage Sites

29 September 2020

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
Senator Andrew Bragg, Senator for NSW
Trent Zimmerman MP, Member for North Sydney
Dave Sharma MP, Member for Wentworth


The Morrison Government’s 2020-21 Budget will invest an additional $40.6 million into the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust taking the total investment to more than $60 million to restore and maintain the Harbour Trust’s, military, convict, Indigenous and industrial maritime heritage sites, safeguarding the iconic assets well into the future.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said this year’s Budget will ensure the start of the implementation of recommendations from the independent review of the Harbour Trust.

“The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust review was about ensuring the rich history of these amazing sites are conserved and remain in public hands and accessible to future generations,” Minister Ley said.

“The Budget will not only ensure the iconic sites are preserved, it will deliver a vital lifeline to trades, specialty contractors and local businesses through direct and indirect employment, delivering hundreds of new jobs over the coming years.

“We are entering a new era for the Harbour Trust and the Morrison Government has committed to ensuring the Harbour Trust exists as an ongoing entity.”

Over the next four years the Budget delivers an additional $40.6 million to the Harbour Trust for a range of works as well as increasing the repairs and maintenance budget. Works include:

  • Repairs, hazardous material removal and decontamination works at 10 Terminal, laying the groundwork for the $10 million already committed for parklands and building restoration works, to bring the precinct to life
  • Repairs and safety works for large cranes on Cockatoo Island
  • Upgrades to roofs and gutters, and make safe works to windows, at the Industrial Precinct (including the Turbine Hall) on Cockatoo Island
  • Restoration and conservation of the WWII gun emplacements, observations posts and tunnels at the historic North Fort in North Head Sanctuary
  • Restoration works to the exterior of Building 1, Other Ranks Mess, at North Head
  • Wharf and pontoon upgrades at Woolwich Dock
  • Restoration and conservation of the Greenway stone wall at Macquarie Lightstation
  • Repair work at the RETORT Building at Sub Base Platypus
  • Fire safety upgrades across multiple sites including at North Head and Headland Park.

This new investment is on top of the more than $20 million the Morrison Government unlocked and announced for maintenance and COVID relief for the Harbour Trust earlier this year.

The Budget also supports a key review recommendation to develop a refreshed vision for Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary as well as site-specific capital plans and heritage asset audits.

Member for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman said this announcement is delivering on the Review’s recommendations covering the preservation of sites, their strategic role in Sydney’s future and ways to maximise public access.

“Around 1.8 million people visit these sites every year, adding to the vibrancy of the harbour foreshore and contributing to the local economies. This announcement will lay the groundwork so that more people will know about them and have access to them,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Senator for NSW Andrew Bragg said the sites were full of the many different histories of Sydney harbour.

“I am pleased to see this Budget delivers on a plan for the North Head Sanctuary so that its unique place in Sydney’s military history is firmly cemented. It recognises its newer role as a place where locals can gather and experience that history. The Liberal Government established the Harbour Trust 20 years ago and we are committed to preservation and conservation of these priceless sites.”

Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma welcomed the funding for the Macquarie Lightstation: “This funding will ensure the heritage value of Macquarie Lightstation is protected and preserved for the benefit of all Australians.”

Harbour Trust Chair Joseph Carrozzi said: “The funding announced today is a vote of confidence in the work of the Harbour Trust in making these significant lands accessible to all Australians and sharing their vast and varied history. We are very pleased to have the strong support of the Minister in this important work.”

Further information on the actions the government is taking in response to the Independent Review of the Harbour Trust is available at: https://environment.gov.au/about-us/shft-independent-review