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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
12 December 2000
Work at the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust will continue as normal with the Federal Government still committed to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Bill.
Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Robert Hill said it was 'business as usual' for the Trust despite the bill having not yet been passed. He said this would not impact on the planning process.
"The Trust will continue to develop the management plans for six Commonwealth lands on Sydney Harbour in consultation with the community," Senator Hill said.
"We have a lot of work to do before we exhibit draft concept plans for each of the sites in April next year."
The Interim Sydney Harbour Federation Trust was established by the Commonwealth Government in 1998 to plan the future use and management of Middle Head-Georges Heights in Mosman, the Artillery School on North Head, Woolwich Dock, Cockatoo and Snapper Islands and Macquarie Lighthouse.
The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Bill has been held up in the Senate for some months now, as amendments are made and subsequently debated.
Senator Hill said it was disappointing the legislation had not gone before the Senate last week, as anticipated, but the Federal Government remained committed to getting it passed.
"A lot of local people are supporting the need for this legislation," he said.
"Over recent weeks there has been a great deal of work completed by community groups, council representatives and other stakeholders in an attempt to gain a resolution."
The Government is now hopeful that the Bill will go before the Senate when Parliament sits again in February next year.
"We cannot afford to let this stop the Trust's progress," Senator Hill said.
"During the next few months, the Trust's planning team will be documenting broad planning principles, preferred range of uses and design measures for each of the sites.
"We will be working closely with the four community consultative committees established by the Trust to advise on planning issues relating to each of the sites."
The Trust recently launched their first publication, Reflections on a Maritime City, which marks completion of the first stage in the planning process for the six harbour lands. The book highlights the special and important qualities of each of the lands, their histories and what remains there today. The book is available from the Trust office for $16.50, phone (02) 8969 2100.
December 12, 2000
Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) 08 8237 7920
Kate Langford, public information officer 02 8969 2100