Mosman Rally To Save Middle Head

Mosman Rally To Save Middle Head

Following a week of solid media support from the likes of 2GB’s Alan Jones, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Deborah Snow and 2UE’s Tim Webster, Save Middle Head supporters across Sydney, from primary school students to nonagenarians, gathered in their hundreds today to make it clear to Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Harbour Trust executive director Geoff Bailey, they are not going away!

Today’s rally was covered by ABC TV & Radio, Channel 9, Channel 7 and Mosman Daily. Deputy Mayor, Roy Bendall, and Councillor Carolyn Corrigan, attended on behalf of Mosman Council. The Harbour Trust’s authority overrides Mosman Council’s with regard to the 10 Terminal proposal. Nevertheless Mosman Council remains steadfastly against the proposed private residential aged care development.

In television interviews broadcast on several networks Deputy Mayor, Roy Bendall, likened the Trust’s approval of the private development of public land as “intergenerational theft.”

Julie Goodsir, Deputy President, Headland Preservation Group, confirmed legal avenues to challenge the approval of the private aged care development were being actively pursued. “At last Tuesday’s public meeting we asked for donations so that we could get senior counsel advice and thank you so much we did get enough money to approach a senior counsel,” Julie Goodsir said.

Julie Goodsir also confirmed that a highly detailed submission is being lodged with the Commonwealth Ombudsman questioning the lack of community consultation and the approval process followed by the Harbour Trust.

High profile local resident spoke passionately about what was at stake. “There are times in life to stand on principle for what you believe in and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust was entrusted by the parliament for us, the people, to manage these precious and historic harbour front sites,” Tim James said. “I worked for John Howard at the time the Trust was established and I believe the Trust has in this development at 10 Terminal breached that trust and failed to meet the intentions of policy makers.”

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The last Commanding Officer of 10 Terminal, Major Ian Brookes retired, spoke strongly about the unique opportunity the 10 Terminal buildings offered to acknowledge indigenous servicemen and the unbroken military heritage of Middle Head.

He deplored the dereliction of its duty of care the Harbour Trust had shown in the way it had neglected 10 Terminal. “This project (proposed private aged care development) could not have got passed first base if members of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust had followed their Trust Deed both in spirit and the letter of the law. It would have been thrown out!” Major Brookes exclaimed.

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“When those buildings were handed over from the army and the keys given to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust they were in a fine state,” Major Brookes reiterated. “We would not have been occupying them or maintaining soldiers in those barracks if they were not in a good working habitable state and the members of the board have admitted that the buildings were in such good condition that they decided to leave them till last.

“Ho Hum, I think someone had an ulterior motive from the outset. Because why would you leave buildings that could have been able to have been put into adaptive use on the day you were given the keys and put into community use, instead of leaving them empty unguarded unfenced so they could be vandalised?”

Two young Australians, Lilou de Bergerac aged 10 years and Angus Bendall aged 8 years made their own eloquent pleas to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in front of the generations before them. It was a powerful reminder of the legacy Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey had promised to protect for future generations of Australians.

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Local musician Kate MacLurcan led the hundreds of people gathered for the rally in a stirring rendition of Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land is Your Land” with a specially adapted ‘Save Middle Head’ verse: special words for the occasion:

This land is your land This land is my land
Sydney Harbour its sparkling water
It’s bushland sacred our public parkland
This land was made for you and me.

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The crowd then marched behind a huge ‘Save Middle Head’ banner, led by supporters in wheelchairs, along the shopfronts of Military Rd to rousing chants of “Save Middle Head”, around the block and back to Mosman Square where television crews waited to conduct further interviews with Headland Preservation Group, Mosman Council and other community representatives.

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1 Comment on "Mosman Rally To Save Middle Head"

  • Paul Klumpp says

    Hi,

    best of luck in your campaign to save preserve the Middle Head headland for all. I am from the Western suburbs of Sydney but I do (very occasionally) take a drive to Middle Head to enjoy the views and have a walk. It seems there is already a significant commercial presence in the area which is low-key and in keeping with the needs and interests of users of the area. However to lose large amounts of the area to one large commercial interest would be a shame – and could also be the thin edge of the wedge.
    Again, best of luck.

    Paul

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