The Middle Head and Georges Head Master Plan (master plan) will guide National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in delivering the effective integration of the Sydney Harbour Scenic Walk across the headlands, complemented by a range of upgraded and improved visitor facilities that protect, enhance and celebrate the sites natural and cultural values.
The master plan provides the framework to continue the close working relationship between NPWS and The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust with the Harbour Trust providing visitor experiences across the Middle Head parklands.
NPWS, working with the Harbour Trust, sought extensive public feedback to inform planning for Middle Head. The following is a summary of consultation in response to the NPWS Draft Middle Head and Georges Head Master Plan.
Public exhibition of the Middle Head and Georges Head Draft Master Plan was held between 3 November and 16 December 2016. This involved:
- 1 planning day with more than 300 attendees, 3 information sessions and 827 surveys and submissions
- 10 meetings with key stakeholder groups
- 76 submissions received and considered by NPWS.
Feedback received throughout the consultation indicated top community priorities were to:
- provide public open space
- protect bushland
- protect flora and fauna
- protect views
- provide public access
- provide paths and lookouts
- protect heritage buildings
- protect beaches
- provide connections to public transport.
Key concerns for NPWS to consider were:
- maintain environmental sustainability
- ongoing management of bushland (fire, pests, weeds)
- traffic impacts
- ensuring events are managed appropriately and do not have long-term impacts
- parking impacts.
In response NPWS made the following key changes to the plan:
- re-routing walking track away from Cobblers Beach and removing new link to Obelisk Beaches
- removing camping platforms from Cobblers Beach
- ensuring that traffic, cycle and pedestrian management are adequately covered in the master plan
- ensuring that the master plan is clear in relation to the requirements for environmental assessment and protecting park values (particularly new walking track construction and event approval)
- ensuring the master plan is clear in relation to continuing to work with the Harbour Trust.
The Middle Head and Georges Head Master Plan will be delivered in stages by NPWS in consultation with the community and as funding becomes available.
Funding for the Sydney Harbour Scenic Walk at Middle Head was obtained in mid-2018 when the NSW Government announced an unprecedented $80 million investment in 9 projects in response to the growing global popularity of nature-based walks. The National Parks Visitor Infrastructure Program presents an outstanding opportunity to strengthen the appeal of New South Wales as a walking destination and engage visitors with the values of our parks by improving the quality and accessibility of walking tracks and trails.
NPWS will continue to work with the Harbour Trust to deliver projects that provide visitor experiences such as:
- walking tracks
- traffic management (in conjunction with Mosman Council).