These groups, collectively known as the Defenders of Sydney Harbour Foreshores, included Friends of Cockatoo Island, the Headland Preservation Group and Foreshore 2000 Woolwich.
In September 1998, the Commonwealth Government announced the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (Harbour Trust) – a statutory agency tasked with rehabilitating former Defence and other Commonwealth lands around Sydney Harbour, conserving their natural and built heritage, and returning them to the people of Australia. These lands had been hidden away from public view for many years, left derelict, run-down and in some cases contaminated.
In his speech announcing the Harbour Trust, the Hon. John Howard, then Prime Minister of Australia, described Sydney Harbour as “…probably the world’s greatest harbour. It is one of the great natural beauty spots of our nation. It is the cradle of European settlement in Australia and it is one of those parts of our country which gives immense pride and immense pleasure, not only to the residents of Sydney, but also to all Australians because it wins such wide acclaim around the world.”
The Harbour Trust operated on an interim basis until September 2001 when its foundational legislation – the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Act 2001 (SHFT Act) – took effect. In June 2021, the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Amendment Act 2021 received royal assent and commenced, empowering the Harbour Trust to continue as an ongoing entity with responsibility for heritage sites on Sydney Harbour. The legislation, which had received multipartisan support during its passage through Parliament, delivered a key recommendation from the Independent Review of the Harbour Trust, conducted between October 2019 and January 2020. The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Act 2001 was amended to incorporate the changes introduced by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Amendment Act 2021.
The Harbour Trust is governed by the Members of the Trust and reports to the Minister for the Environment and Water (Cth). Today, we protect and manage a network of unique places in line with our Comprehensive Plan and suite of Management Plans.
"[Sydney Harbour] is one of the great natural beauty spots of our nation." – John Howard
The Harbour Trust operated on an interim basis until September 2001, when its foundational legislation – the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Act 2001 (SHFT Act) – took effect. The Harbour Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees and reports to the Minister for the Environment. Today, we protect and manage a network of unique places in line with our Comprehensive Plan and suite of Management Plans (See: Planning)
Vision: To create and share extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour and amplify their stories.
Mission: To bring to life our natural and cultural heritage and provide a lasting legacy for all Australians through conservation, remediation and the adaptive reuse of places in our care.
Values: Open, Accountable, Collaborative, Entrepreneurial, Creative and Integrity.
Objectives: Our objectives, as outlined in the SHFT Act, are to :
Learn more about the Harbour Trust, including the history of our sites...
PO BOX 607
Mosman NSW 2088