The Harbour Trust has put forward plans to transform Sydney’s Cockatoo Island into an arts and culture precinct.
The plan, which has been posted on the Trust’s website, would see the UNESCO World Heritage site restored with added art, retail, dining and educational spaces, while acknowledging its significance as a sacred meeting place for Indigenous Australians.
“The Harbour Trust is seeking to return the stories and connections to Country, alongside the colonial, maritime and industrial history which has long been a focus,” the draft concept reads.
According to the proposal, there is the possibility of “an additional level of accommodation suited to short-term stays, small conferences, work retreats, special events, weddings and weekend getaways”.
“Roof gardens and courtyards will team with endemic local plants, palm trees and ferns, providing a green outlook,” it says.
With a range of new public spaces and plans to “renature” the space with gardens and an “urban tree canopy”, the precinct also aims to attract both domestic and international tourists.
“We want them to leave far more informed and respectful,” Harbour Trust chair Joseph Carrozzi told ABC News.
“Having boardwalks that can educate our visitors and tourists and school kids on what the significance of the island was for our First Nations people.”
For the plans to go ahead, the trust needs both state and federal government funding as well as private and philanthropic.
“We want to work with government, community, corporates, benefactors to bring this vision to life in a way that is sensitive to the historical significance of the site but also impressive and attractive,” Carrozzi said.
Featured image source: Harbour Trust