Barangaroo Reserve, a six-hectare park on the edge of Sydney’s CBD opened to the public yesterday.
The park, named after the Cammeraygal tribeswoman Barangaroo, was created from a former container wharf at Millers Point, restoring the industrial waterfront with a sandstone foreshore.
NSW premier Mike Baird paid tribute to former prime minister Paul Keating for his vision of a natural bush headland, and for lobbying for the restoration after 100 years of industrial use.
“Barangaroo Reserve is a stunning new park that will give current and future generations a new place to enjoy the best harbour in the world,” Baird said.
“It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago this new green headland was an ugly, locked-off relic of Sydney’s industrial past.
“A big part of that has to do with the vision of former prime minister Paul Keating, who saw the opportunity to honour our history and restore this to its rightful position as it used to be and build an incredible shrine effectively to this city which recognises its Aboriginal culture, its history and connection into this great city.”
The aim was to transform it into a natural reserve much like the four other headlands in the western edge of Sydney harbour: Balls Head, Ballast Point, Balmain and Blues Point.
“This is a piece of fantasy,” Keating said.
“This will be more representative of any headland as it was before European settlement than any other one.”
The vanquishing of Sydney’s industrial waterfront will continue with the removal of the 87-metre high Sydney Harbour Control Tower above Barangaroo, with the NSW government backing Keating’s push to have it torn down, despite protests the National Trust, which saw the 41-year-old tower as an important part of the city’s maritime heritage.
The park is part of a broader $6 billion redevelopment of the Barangaroo precinct that will house a new hotel and casino as well as residential space spanning 22 hectares.
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