North Head Sanctuary Foundation
is working with Government agencies
towards the establishment of
Car-rang-gel Sanctuary
on North Head
at the gateway of Sydney Harbour
- a flagship for Australia's
environmental resolve
and a celebration of
our natural and cultural heritage.
Car-rang-gel Sanctuary on North Head, Sydney
Aboriginal Heritage
Built Heritage
Research Volunteering
Compatible Use Principles

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.

Acknowledgment of Country
Values of North Head
Desired outcomes relating to North Head

Concepts raised

General Principles

Management Principles
Aboriginal Heritage principles
Environmental principles
Natural Heritage principles

Built Heritage principles
Visitor Experience principles

Uses to fit with the Environmental Sanctuary objectives
Primary and secondary uses
Uses are to ensure public access is guaranteed
Uses are to permit public control and accountability for management
Uses to apply principles of sustainability
Uses are to ensure vehicle access is limited
Uses are to be governed by existing buildings and heritage
Uses are to minimise impacts on locality and locals
Uses are to be economically viable
Uses are to be subject to public tender process
Uses to be measured against integrated North Head criteria

Acknowledgment of Country
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.

Reaffirm the values
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

Desired outcomes relating to North Head
A summary 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

Workshop 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.

General Principles
1. Proposed uses must ...
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

2. 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

3. All proposed uses must adhere to Ecologically Sustainable Development principles.

4. Where compatible with heritage significance, proposals must use Water Sensitive Urban Design including care of or return to natural water flows across the landscape.

5. 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 is maintained.

Management Principles
1. Management of the Sanctuary will permit (inclusive) public control.

2. Future 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.

3. 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.

4. Integration of management for North Head across various precincts is a primary aim and the resultant co-existence of uses could become part of North Head's attraction.

5. Use proposals must demonstrate economic viability/cost neutrality and a sustainable infrastructure.

Aboriginal Heritage principles
1. Any proposed use must be compatible with the principle of Reconciliation and made in consultation with the Aboriginal community.

2. A 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 it.

3. Preference will be given to proposed uses that encourage respect for the land.

4. The principle of Aboriginal education is that if people approach the land in the right frame of mind, the land will always teach.

5. The 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.

6. Peace and quiet must be ensured for those who wish to move through the natural environment in a receptive frame of mind.

7. Preference will be given to uses that encourage people to learn from the land and accept responsibility for care of the natural environment.

8. Proposed uses must ensure the protection of Aboriginal sites and places.

9. There 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.

Environmental principles
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 level
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 North Head.
8. Light levels after sunset must be kept subdued particularly near penguin nesting areas.
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.

Natural Heritage principles
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.

Built Heritage principles
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 be encouraged.
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 Heritage architects.
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.

Visitor Experience principles
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.

2. Any 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.

3. Plans 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.

4. Major proposed uses must demonstrate a level of control over visitor numbers - a method for predicting visitor arrivals and departures, e.g. a booking system

5. Accommodation 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.

Uses 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.

Primary 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 Environmental Sanctuary
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

Uses 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

Uses 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.

Uses 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

Uses are to ensure vehicle access is limited
Protection of fauna is paramount
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 Centre

Uses 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

Uses 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 over water.

Uses 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

Uses 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

Uses 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.

Aboriginal Heritage
Built Heritage
Research Volunteering
North Head Sanctuary Foundation, P.O.Box 896, Balgowlah, NSW 2093


This page was coded for the North Head Sanctuary Foundation by Judith Bennett.
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