Sydney’s global competitiveness threatened by Harbour challenges

Photography credit: Committee for Sydney

Sydney Harbour – our greatest asset, has been released by Committee for Sydney in conjunction with Place Design Group.  The report provides a snapshot of the state of the Harbour highlighting the growth pressures it is under and complex administrative arrangements.  It advocates for strong leadership to maintain the health of the Harbour, to manage competing demands and retain Sydney’s global competitiveness.  A key strength of the report lies in the consultation undertaken in its drafting with government and private sector stakeholders to ensure a level of consensus of the issues and way forward (see overleaf for full listing).

Key recommendations include:

  • The Greater Sydney Commission to update the vision for Sydney Harbour and articulate principles for balancing the uses and needs of the harbour.
  • Fund and Legislate to give either the Greater Sydney Commission or Department of Planning, Industry and Environment an assurance role over Sydney Harbour, its assets, land and policy.

Eamon Waterford, Deputy CEO of the Committee for Sydney said, “We have this fantastic asset, and everybody realises its value, but nobody is steering the ship.  If we can turn this round, this could be a big win for Sydney.”

“There are over 100 hectares of the foreshore land owned by State Government that have the potential to be opened up for greater public access and enjoyment. The benefits from getting this right are massive,” Mr Waterford said.

Place Design Group, CEO, Beth Toon said, “waterfronts are a critical component to Place Design Group’s footprint across Pan Asia.  As a leading international planning and design firm, we believe public realms, such as Sydney Harbour, are the true anchors of our cities and must be given respect and prioritisation to ensure a city’s sustainability and growth”.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to contributing to public policy debate, Place Design Group was pleased to partner with the Committee for Sydney to develop this important report, with Harbour expert Ruth Frettingham, Principal Strategic Planner, as lead author who brings with her over 20 years working in senior planning roles in the NSW State Government. Place Design Group commends the Committee for Sydney for its championship of key city-shaping issues and its ability to lead the debate across all sectors,” Mrs Toon said.

View ‘Sydney Harbour – our greatest asset’ Report here.

Stakeholder Consultation included:

  • Australian National Maritime Museum
  • Captain Cook Cruises, Carnival Australia
  • City of Sydney
  • Lendlease Development
  • Mirvac
  • NRMA
  • NSW Office of Environment & Heritage
  • Place Design Group
  • Place Management NSW
  • Port Authority of NSW
  • PwC
  • Sydney Coastal Councils Group
  • Sydney Fish Market
  • Sydney Harbour Federation Trust
  • Urbis