North Head Sanctuary Foundation
is working with Government agencies
towards the establishment of
on North Head
at the gateway of Sydney Harbour
- a flagship for Australia's
and a celebration of
our natural and cultural heritage.
Car-rang-gel Sanctuary on North Head, Sydney
In June 2003, North
Head Sanctuary Foundation conducted a workshop to collate our ideas about
what criteria could be used to decide if any proposed use of the facilities
within the sanctuary were compatible with our concept of the sanctuary.
This is a report collated
from various group contributions at that workshop.
The workshop commenced
with Susan Moylan-Coombs leading us to contemplate that we were meeting
on Car-rang-gel which is the home of the Guringai people - and to acknowledge
the ancestors that have gone before us in this place.
There have been a number
of workshops to collate the collective values we are trying to uphold
and protect therefore a summary of these values was displayed ….
North Head ….
· is a major geographical feature with strong geological value - Sydney
sandstone, hanging swamps, Aeolian dunes
· supports a unique biodiversity including Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub
· supports populations of Little Penguins and long-nosed bandicoots.
· has high Aboriginal cultural value
· has high and diverse immigration, quarantine, military cultural value
· has strong social, spiritual and re-creational value - outlook, sense
of place, peace
· is close to a city and is an integral part of the Harbour
· has high educational potential
· has potential to attract visitors from within Australia and from overseas
outcomes relating to North Head
of the desired outcomes that have already been defined in workshops includes….
· Flora and fauna communities and populations assured of long term integrity
· Natural processes rebuilt such that human interventions becomes minimised
· Environmental inputs from resource use (e.g. waste) are limited
· People understand and appreciate the significance of natural heritage,
significance to and use by Aboriginal people, significance to and use
by immigration, quarantine and military cultures
· Aboriginal places conserved
· Fabric of built heritage conserved
· People use North Head for enjoyment, recreation and renewal
· Community develops sense of ownership and participation
· People acquire knowledge and skills
· A sufficient and stable income stream is assured from a variety of sources
· Activities on North Head make a positive contribution to the local economy
participants contributed the following concepts:
· Integration of management
for North Head is a primary aim and the resultant co-existence of uses
could become a model and a new "value" in itself
· The marine environment needs to be an integral part of the planning
· All uses need to be ecologically sustainable
· Access to North Head is constrained in terms of traffic, transport and
use of waterways
· Sanctuary has a broad meaning with includes nurturing human beings.
· The natural environment is central to many religions and cultures so
we could think of those cultures when creating principles for North Head.
1. Proposed uses
a. demonstrate that Sanctuary values will be upheld
b. relate directly to the environmental or heritage Sanctuary objectives
c. ensure that public access is maintained or promoted while respecting
the Sanctuary's values
d. facilitate education, interpretation, research or rehabilitation
e. contribute to the preservation of the cultural, natural and historic
values of the site
f. contribute to the community benefit or good g. demonstrate co-operative
and collaborative use of facilities
If a choice between uses is to be made, preference will be given to ...
a) proposals that relate to the primary purpose of the Sanctuary over
those that are secondary or ancillary uses
b) community uses over commercial uses
c) uses that relate more closely to previous uses e.g. gymnasium used
for physical exercise, student accommodation used for students
d) uses that attract purposeful visitors to North Head - visitors who
want to learn about the natural or cultural heritage
All proposed uses must adhere to Ecologically Sustainable Development
Where compatible with heritage significance, proposals must
use Water Sensitive Urban Design including care of or return to
natural water flows across the landscape.
Everything of built and natural heritage on North Head is potentially
significant so authorities MUST be consulted before any works are
undertaken. e.g. gardeners removing bricks, remnant structures. Aim needs
to be to co-ordinate activities to ensure the significance of North Head
1. Management of the Sanctuary will permit (inclusive) public control.
decision-making and management structure(s) for North Head shall include
majority community representation with representation from each Government
agency or authority responsible for land management on North Head.
Proposed uses must ...
a) form part of a cost-neutral group of users bearing in mind the costs
of management, maintenance, etc
b) submit an appropriate business plan
c) enter into an appropriate lease or licence to operate, in accordance
with the Sanctuary Master Plan.
d) Leases to be shorter rather than longer.
of management for North Head across various precincts is a primary
aim and the resultant co-existence of uses could become part of North
proposals must demonstrate economic viability/cost neutrality and
a sustainable infrastructure.
1. Any proposed use must be compatible with the principle of Reconciliation
and made in consultation with the Aboriginal community.
fundamental Aboriginal concept is that we humans do not own or possess
land - we are a part of the land. It is for us to live with respect within
will be given to proposed uses that encourage respect for the land.
principle of Aboriginal education is that if people approach the land
in the right frame of mind, the land will always teach.
natural bushland and landscape is itself intrinsically educational therefore
proposed uses must retain or re- establish the maximum amount of natural
bushland and landscape features on Car-rang-gel.
and quiet must be ensured for those who wish to move through the natural
environment in a receptive frame of mind.
will be given to uses that encourage people to learn from the land and
accept responsibility for care of the natural environment.
uses must ensure the protection of Aboriginal sites and places.
are different levels of understanding of Aboriginal Culture and Heritage
values; therefore proposals to create pathways or move people through
the natural environment must demonstrate that Aboriginal Cultural and
Heritage experts have been consulted and their advice accepted even if
they are not at liberty to explain the significance of a particular area.
Proposed uses must
1. comply with an integrated traffic management plan
2. comply with an integrated waste management plan
3. maintain the tranquility and serenity of the site
4. must keep noise levels to an agreed maximum acceptable level (to be
determined for various precincts based on existing db levels and according
to the type of noise being proposed)
5. must keep noise levels at or near Harbour water level to a very low
6. the noise level within the Sanctuary must be considerably lower than
that experienced in nearby suburban areas
7. the Sanctuary must not generate noise that would annoy people beyond
8. Light levels after sunset must be kept subdued particularly near penguin
9. Artificial visual stimulation, (e.g. signs, etc) must be sensitively
designed to encourage peacefulness
10. Unpleasant odours must not be permitted to intrude on visitor experience.
11. Respect the locality and local community members.
12. Preference will be given to proposals that facilitate minimum levels
(or complete elimination) of fossil-fueled vehicles on North Head.
13. Any uses on North Head will need restrictions on hours of operation
particularly if special events are proposed because Darley Rd is at capacity
at peak hours of the day.
14. Any use of water transport must be restricted to daylight hours.
Proposed uses must
1. have zero impact on flora and fauna including the marine environment
2. preserve natural heritage
3. retain existing natural bushland areas and revegetate the maximum amount
of currently (in 2003) "disturbed" areas.
1. There are different levels of significance for different buildings
on North Head. The level of significance must determine the acceptable
level of alteration of fabric that is acceptable.
2. There are already a large number of buildings on North Head - no new
buildings will be permitted - only restoration of existing buildings,
and co-operation between precincts to assist with shared facilities will
3. The buildings themselves are educational and restoring them can be
an educational process. The fabric itself is significant.
4. All restoration projects must be planned and supervised by qualified
5. Proposed uses must
· have minimum impact on the fabric of heritage buildings
· preserve built heritage
· be compatible with the Assessment of Significance for the building concerned.
· ensure that future generations will be able to appreciate the significance
of the building.
1. The optimum (not maximum) holding capacity in terms of visitor numbers
be determined for the whole of North Head and then for individual precincts
or zones. A Sanctuary Visitor Plan be created to set appropriate guidelines
for visitor numbers across North Head and in various zones.
proposed use must
a) maintain the tranquility of North Head
b) predict the approximate number of people that would be on the site
at various times and at various locations
c) demonstrate compliance with the Sanctuary Visitor Plan
d) indicate ways in which the need for vehicular traffic movements on
North Head are minimised.
to have people moving through the natural environment must demonstrate
compliance with Sanctuary objectives, ensure no adverse impact on the
environment and facilitate other visitors' experiences of tranquility.
proposed uses must demonstrate a level of control over visitor numbers
- a method for predicting visitor arrivals and departures, e.g. a booking
at QS and School of Artillery is consistent more with student accommodation
than luxury tourism and therefore preference will be given to uses that
require the closest to current level of accommodation.
to fit with the Environmental Sanctuary objectives
· The objectives of
a Sanctuary are outlined by the North Head Sanctuary Foundation and Sydney
Harbour Federation Trust documents.
· Education, research and interpretation are central objectives.
· Conservation and symbiotic relationship with environment are key principles.
· Public access and control are fundamental criteria.
and secondary uses
· Primary use for site
must directly relate to objectives of an Environmental Sanctuary (eg an
environmental studies centre/faculty)
· Secondary uses (eg museums, accommodation and refreshment facilities)
that are ancillary to a primary use are to respect the objectives of an
· Other secondary uses that are incidental to a primary use (eg, gymnasium,
community facilities and special events) are also to respect the objectives
of a Sanctuary
are to ensure public access is guaranteed
· Uses that are not
exclusive but inclusive and encourage public access
· Public access to sites needs to be managed to minimise impacts
are to permit public control and accountability for management
· Private usage that
requires exclusive use of a site is not accepted
· A trust is to manage the site to ensure public accountability
· Users to be associated in a public cooperative or partnership arrangement
to facilitate sharing of resources and infrastructure
· Lease and licenses to be limited to 10 years. Longer periods up to maximum
of 21 years would require parliamentary approval.
to apply principles of sustainability
· Limited infrastructure
on site is noted - energy, water and sewage
· Size and numbers are to be governed by existing infrastructure capabilities
· Use that achieve energy, water and waste minimisation are desirable
· Use that favour self-sufficiency and decentralisation of infrastructure
on site to improve environmental outcomes are to be encouraged
are to ensure vehicle access is limited
· Protection of fauna
· Car free areas (except for service vehicles)
· Non polluting & efficient people movers connected to all sites on North
Head, to QS wharf and Manly Wharf and parking areas.
· Emphasis on pedestrian zones with linked footpaths and cycle ways
· Parking limited to entry points on peripheral areas or in Manly Town
are to be governed by existing buildings and heritage
· Size and numbers are to be governed by existing accommodation capabilities
· New buildings are not permitted and intensification of use is not favoured
· Existing buildings may only be modified and adapted subject to significance
and heritage controls
are to minimise impacts on locality and locals
· Minimise traffic
generation within Manly Town Centre and Eastern Hill
· Minimise noise impacts on nearby residential area - note noise carries
are to be economically viable
· Capital works for
restoration and rehabilitation of site, buildings and infrastructure to
be provided by Federal and State governments
· Viability of a use to be assessed not just on commercial objectives
but also environmental and social benefits
· Lease and licence fees to be determined on basis of contribution of
user to overall environmental, social and economic objectives.
· Income to be reinvested into site and not general revenue
· User to be self-funding in terms of on-going running costs
are to be subject to public tender process
· An open transparent
tender process required to determine competing users
· Proposals would require public exhibition and comment
· A method to assess best fit against all objectives and criteria is needed
to be measured against integrated North Head criteria
· Collective and cumulative
impacts on all of North Head to be determined to establish an optimal
(not maximum) holding capacity for North Head.
· Individual uses need to be compatible with each other for all sites
on North Head
· A holistic approach is required to assess overall outcomes and benefits.