Quarantine Station Preservation Bill 2003

URGENT !

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(Aim: To take back control of this historic icon within Sydney Harbour National Park providing for its preservation and integrated management within North Head, and thus counter the Government intent to lease it to private interests for conversion to a hotel and restaurant complex)

Remarkably this Bill was passed in the Upper House last week (30 Oct) thanks to the enormous efforts of Democrats (Arthur Chesterfield-Evans), Liberals (Michael Richardson and Greg Pearce) and Greens (Ian Cohen), and was supported by all in the Legislative Council excepting the Government MPs. This broad support indicates the Government's isolated position on this valuable public asset.

The Bill will proceed to the Lower House as early as next week and it's now up to the community to emphatically declare its opposition to the lease process and bring sufficient pressure to bear on the Government to effect a change of its intent. Without such pressure, the Bill is most likely to be defeated by the Government (having the numbers in the Lower House), as was the Independent Member David Barr's Bill recently defeated in that House. It is imperative to lobby your local MP, the Premier, the Environment Minister Bob Debus, and Planning and Infrastructure Minister Craig Knowles; as well as writing more letters to news media. Use your email network to forward this request please.

Spread the word -this is REALLY a last ditch effort to be heard before next Tuesday 11th -Thursday 13th (Noon Tues to 5pm Thurs) when we plan to hold a Quarantine-Ghost vigil outside Parliament House -join us in your own ghost sheet.

Create your own brief grabs from the following points

*The increasing isolation of the Government on this issue -evidenced by the broad support of the Bill in the Legislative Council by every other political party excepting the Government Labor Party. Tell the Government it is out on a limb - ignoring public opinion.

*Environment and heritage groups across this state, Nature Conservation Council, the National Parks Association, The National Trust, Defenders of Sydney Harbour Foreshores, Protectors of Public Lands, Friends of Quarantine Station, North Head Sanctuary Foundation stand opposed to the private leasing of Quarantine Station. How much more convincing is needed?

*The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust - a federally funded body - has well-progressed plans for establishing a Sanctuary across the whole of North Head AND has even allocated its funding, but it does not have the powers to progress without State cooperation. How ironic to have a commercial hotel and restaurant complex in its midst complete with sound and light shows etc - more like a 'theme park' says the NSW National Trust of Australia.

*There was overwhelming community rejection of the proposed development during the Environmental Impact Statement and Commission of Inquiry stages. And ever since, when information stalls were set up to inform the public of the intended lease, people were outraged and wrote hundreds more letters. When is the Government going to listen to the people's will? When is it going to cease holding the public to ransom?

*The community is determined to be heard and heeded on this issue. It simply does not want a hotel there at all - and it certainly does not want a private company to raise foreign money to 'trick it up' for 25 years or so to make money for private shareholders. Throughout the process the financial returns to heritage restoration have remained questionable. Say what you want.

*A spokesperson for Defenders of Sydney Harbour Foreshores Phil Jenkyn believes it is Mawland that we should be 'booting out'. They should be told that covert dealing over public land does not inspire confidence. State your distrust of covert deals and behind closed doors agreements and your disdain for taxpayer-funded legal support for proponents whilst community volunteers battle the giants as best they can.

* Tell the Government A core component of environmental sustainability is genuine community consultation and participation and a sense of ownership of their own heritage; not a mock up, pretending to listen and saying our concerns have been 'taken into account'.

This page was created 7th October, 1999, by Judith Bennett,
Friends of Quarantine Station,
and was last modified 26th February, 2012.