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Master Planning Services – Cockatoo Island & North Head Sanctuary

Explore scenic North Head Sanctuary, Manly | Harbour Trust | Harbour Trust

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust is seeking tenders from experienced consultants to develop Master Plans for North Head Sanctuary and for Cockatoo Island.

The Harbour Trust holds several lands for, and on behalf of, the Commonwealth including:

  • Cockatoo Island
  • Headland Park, Mosman
  • North Head Sanctuary
  • Woolwich Dock and Parklands
  • Macquarie Lighthouse
  • Sub Base Platypus
  • Marine Biological Station
About Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour at the confluence of the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers. For thousands of years, Cockatoo Island (Wareamah) was visited, understood, cared for and nurtured as a meeting place for First Nations clans located around Sydney Harbour.

A convict–built prison was commenced in 1839 and until 1909 the island was a place of incarceration — initially a convict prison for secondary offenders, and later a reformatory and Industrial School for Girls, and a gaol to ease overcrowding at Darlinghurst Gaol.

The island is an UNESCO World Heritage site, considered one of the best surviving examples of the colonial convict transportation and forced labour system.

In 1913 Cockatoo Island became the dockyard of the Royal Australian Navy, and during World War I up to 4,000 men were employed building warships and converting merchant ships for war service. During World War II, Cockatoo Island became the major shipbuilding and dockyard facility for the south-west Pacific and underwent significant additions. After the war, it continued as a major dockyard. The docks closed on 31 December 1991 and the island lay vacant until 2001, over which time many buildings deteriorated.

Many buildings and wharves were demolished after the closure of the dockyard. Some areas still contain contamination and industrial hazards from this extended period of shipbuilding.

About North Head Sanctuary

Located in the municipality of Manly, North Head is a tied island, an elevated landmass dominating the entrance to Port Jackson. The site is surrounded on three sides by Sydney Harbour National Park.

North Head is recognised as having outstanding heritage value to Australia as the northern expression of the seaward entrance to Sydney Harbour and has played a major role in the cultural and military life of Australia. The “Heads” have signified arrival and departure at Port Jackson since 1788 and are recognised as important, iconic landmarks of national heritage significance.

Approximately 58 hectares of the total site is bushland, with over fifty nationally or locally significant flora and ten rare plant species recorded on site. North Head is a place of great significance for First Nations People, who have and continue to use the area as a place for special gatherings, ceremonies and rituals, including burial, education, trade and diplomacy.

For many years, North Head Sanctuary was occupied and used by the Commonwealth Government for defence purposes, with both the Artillery Barracks Precinct and North Fort Precinct examples of this use.

The Project

In 2021, the Harbour Trust developed Draft Concept Plans for both Cockatoo Island and North Head Sanctuary. Each Draft Concept set out to identify and articulate visions and ambitions for each site’s future, including preserving heritage, culture and the environment, engaging and reimagining community benefit, appealing to more diverse audiences, and offering more diverse experiences to visitors.

The Draft Concepts set a path for future restoration and activation of the sites and represent an opportunity to transform sites of national significance to ensure that they remain preserved, accessible and enjoyable for generations to come.

The next stage of work involves the development of site Master Plans, building on the Comprehensive Plan, site Management Plans, recent Draft Concept Plans and the associated community consultation already undertaken.

The intention is that the development of Master Plans will further inform the costing information and generate further support for the funding of these plans. The Harbour Trust anticipates that work completed within this Master Planning stage will be used separately by the Harbour Trust to inform the development of revised/updated Management Plans for both sites.


  • The Respondent is a legal entity
  • The Tender may not be a joint Tender
  • Public liability insurance, with cover for $20 million per occurrence
  • Professional indemnity insurance, with cover for $10 million per occurrence
  • Workers compensation insurance

The Tender

The tender is due on 16 March 2022, at 1:00pm

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