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Joint Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
&
Malcolm Turnbull
Federal Member for Wentworth

18 November 2005

Hunt and Turnbull officially open new Harbour park


Sydney’s newest public park at Watson’s Bay will be officially opened on 20 November 2005, Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, and Malcolm Turnbull MP, Member for Wentworth, announced today.

“This official opening is symbolic of the Australian Government’s commitment to opening up to the public an important piece of Harbour land in Australia’s most populous city,” Mr Hunt said.

“It will give locals improved access to the popular Camp Cove beach through a thoroughfare that is rich in local history.”

Mr Hunt said the beach was steeped in Australia’s early history.

“The First Fleet anchored overnight at Camp Cove before proceeding to Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788, making the beach a very significant place in Australia’s history.”

Mr Hunt said the Marine Biological Station at the Park also told the story of Australia’s early reputation as a place for international explorers to visit and document new environments.

“The Marine Biological Station was built for the Russian explorer and scientist

Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay in 1881 and he occupied it until 1886.”

“After 1886 the Biological Station and grounds were resumed by the NSW military and used as officers’ married quarters until about 2000 when it was handed over to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to plan its future uses,” Mr Hunt said.

Malcolm Turnbull said the park was the first significant milestone in the Harbour Trust’s plan to restore the site and open it up to the public.

“The park provides a wonderful landscaped corridor from suburban streets to the popular beach of Watsons Bay.”

“At a time when public access to the Harbour may be declining, this is a real benefit to the local community and also provides a snapshot into something of the isolation of the area before residential development occurred in the late nineteenth century,” Mr Turnbull said.

The Trust is well advanced in negotiating the lease of the former residence. The lessee will be responsible for the conservation and restoration of the house, and periodically opening it to the public.

“Although small, the park is a welcome addition to the amenity of Watsons Bay. Together with Camp Cove to the north and Green Point Reserve to the west, the former Marine Biological Station and its associated park constitute a boost to green spaces in the Watson’s Bay area,” Mr Turnbull said.

Further information on the former Marine Biological Station is available on www.harbourtrust.gov.au

Media Contact:
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's office) 0415 740 722

Commonwealth of Australia