A new dockyard in Sydney’s north-west has sparked a major rethink for the region’s industrial heartland, as the local community seeks to reclaim a neglected waterfront.
Key points:Aboriginal land has long been neglected and the harbour was deemed too big to be redevelopedAn industrial redevelopment would bring jobs and jobs for everyoneThe city’s mayor has been a vocal supporter of the project, and wants to help Indigenous people find homesKey pointsThe Harbour Dockyard is a $25 million redevelopment project in the Hunter Valley, which is located on the banks of the River Tewary, in the inner-west.
Key areas of interest to the region include:The area is home to an estimated 1,000 Aboriginal peopleThe area has long had a low density of housing and has a high concentration of Aboriginal people.
Now, the city’s mayors have launched a push to help the community revitalise the area, which sits close to the River River and the Great Western Highway.
The mayor said it was vital to have an urban park and harbour that could be redevelopated for future generations.
“I’ve been in politics for a long time and I’m very familiar with the importance of parks and harbours,” Mayor Andrew Stoner said.
“It’s something that I’ve been passionate about.”
He said the city was also working to make a dent in the city council’s backlog of land-use applications, which he said was “extremely low”.
The harbour was one of the first industrial sites to be developed in Australia.
“We are working very closely with the city of Sydney to ensure that we get it right and we can revitalise this area for the future,” Mr Stoner told 7.30.
“The city council has the responsibility of having the responsibility to manage the city, but we need to take responsibility of managing the land in the river as well, so it’s very important that we don’t lose sight of that.”
Mr Stoner’s efforts to revive the area have included hosting a community event to promote the area’s redevelopment.
“This is a place where Aboriginal people live, work and shop and that’s where the future is going to be made,” he said.
He said that, in turn, meant there were many opportunities to “make an impact” on the area.
“As an Aboriginal person, the idea of being in a community meeting is a very important thing.”
You can have a community meet, you can go and speak to your elders, but it’s not the same when you’re in a dockyard and you’re on the water.
“Mr Stoner said the redevelopment would provide jobs and opportunities for everyone, but that it would also create “a lot of noise”.”
We have to be mindful of the noise that we create as well and make sure that the environment is maintained, so that there is no potential for noise to interfere with the development,” he explained.
Mr Stoner said that when the community started looking into the harbour redevelopment, they felt that there was no “right” way forward.”
There was no one that was ready to say that the area was a ‘complete’ area, but there were a lot of ideas that were being looked at,” he told 7,000 ABC Sydney listeners.”
When we began looking at the ideas and what we were looking at, the answer was to put more housing, more retail and a new industrial development.
“That was what we found, that there wasn’t a right answer, so we’re really looking at what we can do and what is the best way forward.”
The City of Sydney has been involved with the project since the start and is providing the money to fund it.
“Since the beginning, the City of NSW has supported this project,” the mayor said.
“We’re really grateful for the support that the City has shown us.”
The harbour development was originally planned to be built between the Hunter River and River Tiwary, but was changed to allow more land to be converted for the harbour development.
The city has also launched an online survey to help identify Indigenous and other stakeholders interested in helping make the change happen.
Topics:environment,development-and-planning,city-andrew-stoner,sydney-3000,sunday-harbour-3154,australiaFirst posted March 12, 2019 17:21:39Contact Adam ClarkMore stories from Western Australia