Response to Harbour Trust Draft Master Plan and public meeting 15 June 2023

The Papua New Guinea Association of Australia sent a detailed submission in to the Harbour Trust in response to the 09 May 2023 Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh Draft Master Plan. Additionally members were encouraged to send submissions in and we thank those who supported PNGAA in this endeavour.
It is vitally important that our community vocalises its interest and support on this important matter which has significant consequences.
REGISTER to attend the Harbour Trust Board Meeting in Public – 15 June 2023
The Harbour Trust invites members of the public to attend the Public Board Meeting on Thursday 15 June 2023, between 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm.
Board members will be available to answer questions from the public and engage in discussion at the end of the meeting. Come to the meeting, ask your questions, and show your interest in the future of these lands. It is essential to register for the meeting, whether attending in person or on-line. Register to attend via

PNGAA needs continuing support on this project to ensure that the training carried out at ASOPA and subsequent iterations of it, which was the backbone to the work of all Australians in PNG, are recognised.

Outcomes from the Middle Head Draft Master Plan
During the extended eight-week consultation period, the Harbour Trust received a total of 209 unique submissions, the majority of which came from the local Mosman, Cremorne and Neutral Bay area, likely due to the type of advertising used.
A revised draft master plan will be re-exhibited for further public comment in the coming months.
The Harbour Trust has reviewed all feedback received during initial exhibition and created a Consultation Outcomes Report. This provides an overview of the key issues/themes, our response to them and how they will be addressed in the revised draft master plan.
The Consultation Outcomes Report is now available on the Harbour Trust website for you to view at this address:

Responses in the Middle Head Draft Master Plan – Consultation Outcomes Report
related to PNGAA’s submission appear to be:
P10 – A few submitters suggested that the creation of an ASOPA & PNGAA cultural centre should be considered– a place of learning, cultural exchange and collaboration for groups engaging in the Pacific Nations. o Some spaces should be large enough to cater for large community and school functions.
Harbour Trust Response:
The history of ASOPA and its significance for Australia’s involvement in PNG and the Pacific will also be included.
‘The interpretation centre will cover the complete and varied human history of the place, and the geological and ecological processes that underpin that. The history of ASOPA and its significance for Australia’s involvement in PNG and the Pacific will also be included. The Harbour Trust will explore opportunities for collaborating with the NSW Department of Education in providing environmental education at Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh. However, it should be noted the proposed Environmental Education Centre in the adjoining Sydney Harbour National Park is a matter for the NSW Department of Education and NPWS.’
Page 11 – ASOPA & Papua New Guinea history and interpretation
Further Details:
Some submitters were concerned that the appropriate level of acknowledgement of the ASOPA facility and the development of Australia relationship with Papua New Guinea were not included in the draft master plan. The following concerns were raised:
o Consultation was not inclusive of the ASOPA community
o Disregard of the Harbour Trust 2018 Interpretation strategy that acknowledges ASOPA as one of the key interpretation theme
o Appears there is very little understanding just how significant ASOPA and especially the Patrol Officers (Kiaps) contribution was to the emerging Independent Papua New Guinea.
o Suggestion to create a memorial, a place of remembrance to visit, to read about, view and reflect upon
Harbour Trust Response
‘Concerns have been noted.
The Harbour Trust recognises that ASOPA has a unique and significant place in Australia’s history, and that this story needs to be told, and the contribution to Papua New Guinea’s development acknowledged. This would be included in the interpretation centre, and this will be made explicit in the revised draft master plan.’
The Outcomes Report states that:
Community and stakeholders were invited to comment on the Middle Head Draft Master Plan through a range of channels, including:
• Information about the draft master plan, including details of drop-in sessions and supporting factsheet, was available on the Harbour Trust website
• In-person information sessions
• Printed signage and brochures at Harbour Trust sites, including at Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh • Advertisements in local and major metro publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Koori Mail, North Shore Times, Mosman Daily
• Social media activity across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter resulting in a reach of around 6,000 people
• A letterbox flyer to over 16,000 residents and businesses
• Targeted emails to key stakeholders, including neighbouring land managers, project working group, elected officials and other members of the community
• Around 40,000 people reached via five Harbour Trust email newsletters
• Council communications requested in all local government areas (LGAs) where the Harbour Trust manages a site.

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