Vision planning and management of Sydney Harbour sites.

    Environment & sustainability

    Respect for the environment is at the core of what we do, and whether we're planning an event or undertaking a renovation project, we aim to conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and cause minimal disruption to native plants and animals.

    To do this, we use the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) outlined in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. They are:

    • Decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations;
    • If there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation;
    • The principle of inter-generational equity – that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations;
    • The conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making
    • Improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted.

    You can find out more about our sustainability practices in our Comprehensive Plan and our Management Plans for each site. 

    Sydney Harbour Green Precincts Project

    The Sydney Harbour Green Precincts Project is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Green Precincts Program. Funding was matched by the Harbour Trust to establish a number of energy and water saving projects at North Head Sanctuary, Manly and Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour. Photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roof of the Turbine Shop on Cockatoo Island and on the roofs of the Gun Shed (Building 61) and former Transport Office (Building 18) at North Head Sanctuary in order to generate 20% of the electrical needs for both of these sites. Rainwater and stormwater harvesting systems have also been implemented at both locations. Signage at various points around these two sites highlights the benefits of this program.

    Bush Regeneration

    Harbour Trust lands are home to rare species of flora such as Bangalay (Eucalyptus botryoides), Coastal Banksia (Banksia integrifolia), Sydney Red Gum (Angophora costata), Acacia terminalis ssp. terminalis (Sunshine Wattle), and Sydney Peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita) and the unique Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub community at North Head. These species and communities are protected under the NSW Threatened Species Act 1995 or the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Over the years, these plants have been damaged by invasive weeds, development and other factors.

    The Harbour Trust has undertaken a variety of bush regeneration programs, including one at North Head Sanctuary Manly. The goal is to restore the bushland so that local species can thrive, our strategies include:

    • collecting local seeds, propagation and selected planting;
    • replanting native species lost from the bush or no longer germinating naturally;
    • planting of native species better suited to a particular area, such as species that may provide resistance to fire, or certain conditions and diseases; and
    • working to reverse the biophysical factors that result in ecosystem degradation, such as improvement of stormwater condition, prevention of soil erosion or stabilisation of drainage lines.

    The Harbour Trust has also introduced measures to stop the spread of a pathogen called Phytophthora cinnamomi (pronounced phy-toph-thora) that attacks the roots of susceptible plants.

    Find out more about the Department’s Phytophthora threat abatement plan