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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Greg Hunt MP

22 November 2005

New Sydney Harbour Institute of Marine Sciences launched at historic Chowder Bay

Chowder Bay will soon be home to a new Sydney Harbour Institute of Marine Sciences, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

Senator Campbell launched the Institute of Marine Sciences today, together with the Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Greg Hunt; and Wentworth MP Malcolm Turnbull, representing Dr Brendan Nelson, the Minister for Education, Science and Training.

"Chowder Bay is the perfect location for a marine institute dedicated to studying our urban marine environment," Senator Campbell said.

"Sydney Harbour is a national icon – much of our colonial history is written in its foreshores, bays and shipping channels. For the best part of two centuries, it was a fully fledged working harbour and the site of a vast shipbuilding enterprise at Cockatoo Island.

"Chowder Bay was until recent times one of the many defence bases dotted around the harbour. Now the responsibility of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Chowder Bay has undergone a major programme of civil works and landscaping. The historic 1890s Submarine Miners’ Depot has been conserved, the parade ground refurbished and walking tracks constructed.

"The rich intertidal and marine habitat of Chowder Bay, the buildings and facilities, its proximity to university campuses and the CBD, and its relative seclusion in foreshore bushland were all factors that appealed to the consortium of universities.

"The Sydney Harbour Institute of Marine Sciences is a world class research facility in a world class location. Its study of the harbour’s biodiversity, fisheries, water quality and more generally the coastal marine environment will contribute to our knowledge of our oceans, ports and harbours."

Mr Hunt said the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust had conducted a rigorous leasing process to find the most compatible users of the buildings and facilities at Chowder Bay. Other tenants were a boat builder and restorer, a dive operation and a coffee kiosk. Barracks and other buildings on site are currently being marketed to potential tenants.

"The Sydney Harbour Institute of Marine Sciences provides a model for other marine education centres around Australia. In particular, this model could be developed in partnership with the Australian Maritime College at another former Defence Site - Point Nepean on the Mornington Peninsula," Mr Hunt said.

The Institute is a joint venture research facility between the Macquarie University, University of New South Wales and the University of Technology, Sydney.

Launch details: Chowder Bay (Middle Head Road, right into Chowder Bay Road), Mosman, 10am for 10.30am ceremony, Tuesday 22 November 2005.

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos, media adviser, Senator Campbell’s office, 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia