The historic Sydney Waterside Reserve awaits his date with a bulldozer

Under the proposal, several buildings would be demolished to allow for the construction of the four-story training academy with an outdoor terrace and the two-story waterfront pool complex.

The complex would include upgrades to an existing pool structure and two other buildings would be refurbished for classrooms.

Marine Rescue NSW plans to establish a training academy at Hungry Point Reserve on the Cronulla Peninsula.

Marine Rescue NSW plans to establish a training academy at Hungry Point Reserve on the Cronulla Peninsula.Recognition:Marine Rescue NSW

Curby said while the historical society did not oppose the demolition of some of the newer buildings on the reservation, it did not support the destruction of the former fishery laboratory, which was built in 1946.

It also “strongly objects” that the size of the four-story training school is atypical for the site and feared the pool complex would become a “dominant feature, especially when viewed from the water”.

Cronulla resident Bruce Howell, vice-chairman of Sutherland Shire Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee, said the land between Salmon Haul Bay, Hungry Point Reserve and Darook Park in Gunnamatta Bay is important because it is a “contiguous area of Aboriginal settlement stretching back several thousand years”.

He said the reserve has 14 registered Aboriginal sites, most of which are classified as shell middens. Howell felt there should be no new buildings on the site and said the agency should reconsider its proposal.

The proposal would rehabilitate three sites on the heritage-listed reserve.

The proposal would rehabilitate three sites on the heritage-listed reserve.

“It’s a sacred area. There are very few sites on the north side of Port Hacking that hold the same importance as Hungry Point Reserve and the surrounding country,” Howell said.

Curby said residents were also concerned the proposal would mean a long-promised extension of the Esplanade along the cliffs to Gunnamatta Bay would never materialize.

Cronulla MP Mark Speakman intervened last week to extend the public consultation period for the proposal to the end of October after an estimated 350 people attended a rally to protest the plans.

Speakman said the consultation process was inadequate. He reiterated his “in principle” support for the training academy announced in 2020.

Marine Rescue NSW says the redevelopment, which would include a simulation pool, would give thousands of volunteers more time in the water.

Marine Rescue NSW says the redevelopment, which would include a simulation pool, would give thousands of volunteers more time in the water.Recognition:Marine Rescue NSW

He said: “Hungry Point is a special place. Any future use must sympathize with its rich heritage and beauty and…ensure public access to the open parkland and a walkway around the entire cliff and waterway, not just part of it.”

Speakman said the training academy was the best proposal to preserve and conserve important buildings following an expression of interest process conducted by the Hungry Point Reserve Land Manager.

“This public use would allow for greatly improved training for Marine Rescue volunteers, improve recruitment, improve water safety and ultimately save lives,” Speakman said.

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Marine Rescue NSW, which has used the headland as its headquarters since 2013, said public access to the parkland would remain and the proposal included providing public toilets for people using the reserve.

“There is an opportunity to include a public restaurant or cafe in the future and this is subject to a separate application process for development with Sutherland Shire Council.”

Spokesman said the NSW Heritage Council is considering the plan to extend the walkway.

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/it-s-a-sacred-area-anger-over-plans-to-redevelop-sydney-waterside-reserve-20220922-p5bk6l.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw The historic Sydney Waterside Reserve awaits his date with a bulldozer

Joel McCord

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