In response to the Master Plans produced separately by NSW Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Trust (SHFT) the Cubba Cubba Project team makes the following recommendations
- Create a 4 way partnership to take responsibility for delivering the Cubba Cubba Project under the supervision of a single project authority involving the following organisations (listed in alphabetical order)
- Community and not-for-profit groups who have expressed a strong interest in being not only part of the design stage, but in many cases also the delivery/building stage, and the ongoing operations stage
- Mosman Council
- National Parks and Wildlife Service, on behalf of the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage
- Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
- Agree on a set of criteria for evaluating all proposals considered for Middle Head. For too long projects involving Crown land estate, i.e. land managed by the Federal or NSW Government on behalf of the Crown (which another way of saying “the people of Australia”) have only been evaluated on economic criteria. Government agencies have developed a habit of thinking about the Crown estate like a bottomless land bank, which they could draw down on any time someone from the government, corporate or not-for-profit sector has a bright idea. It has become too easy to dispose of Crown Land through sale or lease processes. This criteria should include, as a minimum
- High priority needs to be given to the Indigenous history of Cubba Cubba (Middle Head) because of the evidence of occupation by the First Australians going back more than 30,000 years in the Mosman area.
- Specific criteria are needed to protect buildings of acknowledged heritage value.
- No new buildings should be constructed while there are existing buildings lying empty or under-utilised.
- Even when all the existing buildings are being fully utilised again then there needs to be an extremely strong case to justify loss of open space.
- Protecting the natural flora and fauna on the site is treated with as great a priority as and other criteria when making planning decisions.
- Any proposals for changing the original land contours and vegetation cover of Cubba Cubba should be designed to minimise the impact on the physical environment of Middle Head, especially when it is viewed from the north side of Middle Harbour namely Dobroyd Head, from North Harbour including Manly, from North Head, from South Head and from Bradleys Head.
- Any development approved for Middle Head must to be both economically and environmentally sustainable. It is better to leave this national landscape untouched if there is the slightest risk of the proposed development being unsustainable.
- The process of distilling these criteria down into even clearer, more explicit language should be attempted once a broad-based project structure is established that includes all 4 partners listed in Item 1 above.
Cubba Cubba Project Team