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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

8 October 2001

Well Qualified Board Members Will Meet Challenge of Planning Harbour Sites

Planning the future of unique land on Sydney Harbour is to benefit from the vast experience and qualifications of its new board members who were announced today.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Board includes members with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests that reflect the issues associated with the lands they will be planning.

"The board members have extensive experience in urban design and planning, urban development, the corporate sector, cultural heritage, bushland, indigenous issues, military history," Senator Hill said.

"The board will be building on the excellent work that has already been achieved by the interim board that the Harbour Trust has been operating under for the past 2 years.

"All four members of the interim board have been appointed, and I am confident that their enthusiasm and commitment will meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Senator Hill said he was extremely pleased that all levels of Government would be represented on the board.

"The make-up of this board will ensure the interests of the broad community are represented.

"The board members all come with a background in community oriented projects that they have been involved with in addition to their main jobs."

He said the next year would be extremely busy for the board as the Harbour Trust prepares plans for the future of six sites.

"The board will be supervising plans for these lands that will conserve their cultural heritage, protect the environment and provide maximum public access.

"I am confident this board is aware of the importance of these lands to the nation and will be committed to working with the broad community to achieve the best outcome for them in the future."

The sites include the North Head Artillery School, Middle Head-Georges Heights, Woolwich Dock and Parklands, Cockatoo and Snapper Islands, and Macquarie Lightstation.

Monday October 8, 2001

Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) 0419 258 364
Kate Langford (Sydney Harbour Federation Trust) 02 8969 2100 / 0418 625 887

Members of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Board

The Chairman, Mr Kevin McCann, is a distinguished lawyer who has spent 30 years in corporate and commercial law. Kevin is also a Director of Macquarie Bank, Healthscope, and Pioneer International. In his local community of Mosman, Kevin is actively involved in school and theatre projects. He has been Chairman of the interim board for the past 2 years.

Mr Robert Conroy, nominated by the NSW Government, is Director of the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Through his 26 years with national parks, Robert has been committed to the protection and improved management of Australia's environment. He has a particular interest in fire management, holding a position on the Australasian Fire Authorities Council and awarded the National Fire Medal in 1997.

Dr Deborah Dearing, also nominated by NSW, is Executive Director of Metropolitan Area Management with the NSW Department of Urban Affairs and Planning. Deborah has been instrumental in raising the profile of urban design, through her academic studies, university teaching and her work in government and as a consultant. She is chair of several architecture, urban design and planning corporations and committees.

Clr Susan Hoopmann has been Mayor of Hunters Hill for the past two years and is well known and highly respected for her dedication to the local community. Sue holds positions on numerous community committees and organisations, concerning wide-ranging issues from schools and education to charities and the environment.

Mr Peter Lowry has been an interim trustee for the past 2 years. He is a lawyer and has experience in urban research, planning, development (particularly in the restoration of heritage projects) and management from 28 years in the public and private sectors. Peter established the Land Commission of NSW and has been Director of major housing development companies. Peter is passionate about ensuring development does not compromise the needs of the community or impact on heritage. Peter is active in the community, contributing to projects for the arts and youth.

Dr John Moriarty is Chairman and Head of Design at Balarinji, the country's leading indigenous art and design studio. John has been in executive positions of Departments of Aboriginal Affairs for Federal and State Governments, and continues to hold board positions relating to the arts, cultural activities, tourism, and indigenous issues.

Brigadier Kevin O'Brien (ret) has been an interim trustee for the past 2 years but also served at two of the Harbour Trust sites during his 30 years with the Australian Army. Kevin has studied the military and defence history of Australia and assisted in the restoration of heritage defence sites. He has advised on, and edited a book about the defence of Sydney Harbour during World War II.

Mr Justice Barry O'Keefe AM QC serves as Chief Judge in the Supreme Court of NSW. He has been an interim trustee for the past 2 years. For ten years he held the position of Mayor of Mosman and in 1994 he was appointed as Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Justice O'Keefe is president of the National Trust (NSW) and has a strong interest in the arts and the natural environment.

Commonwealth of Australia