Barangaroo’s heritage must be respected

More than two decades ago, when NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet was a teenager, Prime Minister John Howard’s federal government created vast new parklands around the shores of Sydney Harbor and halted their sale to developers. Today the NSW Government intends to erect a massive wall of buildings on half of the 5.2 hectare historic foreshore known as Central Barangaroo, leaving only a measly 1.85 hectares for what is commonly known as ‘Harbour Park’.

The new buildings would separate the adjacent historic Millers Point from the harbor. Millers Point is of state and national importance – a rare early 19th century urban residential remnant of early Sydney Harbour. It has remained relatively unchanged since the 1930s.

In Barangaroo's 17 year controversial history, has 100 percent parkland ever been considered in Central Barangaroo?

In Barangaroo’s 17 year controversial history, has 100 percent parkland ever been considered in Central Barangaroo?Recognition:Portal of the planning department

It gets worse.

Infrastructure NSW, the authority responsible for Barangaroo, has also installed a tall residential tower, bizarrely calling it a ‘point landmark’. This tower will jut out into the harbor vista from Observatory Hill – a panoramic highlight on Sydney Harbor and adjacent to historic Sydney Bay.

Observatory Hill has immense historical value. Overlooking Botany Bay before settlement, it may have been an Aboriginal ceremonial site. First Fleeters would no doubt have scaled the rocky hill shortly after they landed in 1788. The colony’s first windmill was built there in 1797. Fort Phillip was started in 1804. Signal flags were erected in the early 1800s for communication with the port entrance. Today, the 1857 Sydney Observatory sits proudly atop the hill.

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Infrastructure NSW is not considering the “no development” option – the possibility of keeping this public land in the public domain – saying it “cannot develop Central Barangaroo”. It is nonsensically asserted that leaving Central Barangaroo “not developed is not an appropriate or viable option given the project’s identified need” and would “leave a large undeveloped portion of land with a construction fence around it”.

In Barangaroo’s 17 year controversial history, has 100 percent parkland ever been considered in Central Barangaroo?

Why not combine Central Barangaroo with adjacent Headland Park to create a single, glorious 11-acre coastal park? It would balance the botanical gardens and domain on the opposite side of town, although it would be smaller. It would be easily accessible for all Sydneysiders via the new Barangaroo underground station.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-only-option-for-barangaroo-if-we-have-any-respect-for-our-heritage-20220815-p5b9z1.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Barangaroo’s heritage must be respected

Joel McCord

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