Preliminary Comments on the NPWS Draft Master Plan

Preliminary Comments on the NPWS Draft Master Plan
“We urge you to read the Draft Plan yourself, come to an opinion and then tell the National Parks your views.”“We only have until December 16 to lodge our comments.”Julie Goodsir, President
Dear Members and Supporters,The NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) Master Plan for Middle head “seeks to reconcile their fundamental values with a level of access to increase visitation and usage”.The HPG Committee applauds this principle but has many concerns about the increased use of Middle Head for commercial and public events which have little to do with the traditional values of a national park.Please read for yourselves the Master Plan here.

Read particularly from pages 23 to 39 (end of document). 2.6 “Facilities and Uses” and 2.7 “Events” are on the very last pages 36-39.

We are particularly concerned about:

  1. Events and Functions. NPWS is proposing the venue of Middle Head and Georges Head including the outer forts be adapted and used for large-scale events (public) and functions (private) with no stated parameters. It appears that venues may now be hired for exclusive use, as recently amended on the NPWS website.
  2. Security. It is proposed to remove the resident ranger so there will be no ranger on site.
  3. Camping. The lack of a ranger with camping in an unsupervised urban park a real security concern.
  4. Short stay accommodation. NPWS plan to adapt the majority of the buildings in the Middle Head Fort into holiday letting accommodation. Therefore the opportunity to showcase these buildings in their historical context would be lost. This will be to the detriment of a coherent military story spanning the whole period of military occupation.
  5. Works compound. Although reduced is still on Middle Head at the entrance to the park.
  6. Outdoor kitchen and shelter facilities. This is a new structure which NPWS plans to build near the entrance to the park. HPG opposes this new structure.
  7. Alterations and upgrades to Soldiers Institute. NPWS plan to extend this building to the east.
  8. Cafe in the Guard House at the entrance to the park. If such a facility needs to be established it makes more sense to accommodate it in the more central and pleasant Soldiers Institute along with an Information Centre.
  9. New walk from Georges Heights to the harbour. A track already exists from the Gunners Barracks to Chowder Bay where it can meet the new NPWS planned walk. Making a new track is again cutting down more of the natural bushland unnecessarily.

You may also wish to refer to HPG Submission Middle Head Planning Day.

These are some of our main concerns. We must make our voices heard.

Julie Goodsir
President

How to comment on the Middle Head Master Plan

Hard copies of the NPWS Draft Middle Head and Georges Head Master Plan can be viewed at:

  • OEH, Level 14, 59-61 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service Harbour Office, Cnr Middle Head Road and Old Forts Road, Mosman 2088
  • Harbour Trust Office, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Building 28, Best Avenue, Mosman NSW 2088
  • Mosman Council, Mosman Square, Spit Junction, Mosman NSW 2088
  • Mosman Council Library, Library Walk, 605 Military Rd Mosman NSW 2088.

Send in your comments in any of the following ways:

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