Malabar Headland: Federal Government Rules Out Sale to Developers

Al Berzins

The Federal Government has bent to Public Opinion and long term lobbying by 'Friends of Malabar Headland' and now says the land will stay in public hands 'forever'.

This Declaration came just hours after the findings of a Report 'Department of Finance Malabar Headland Initial Business Case 17 September 2014' was released. 

This Report said the land was "surplus to requirements" and would generate a "significant return" if the land could be opened up for development for a mixture of uses.

Randwick Council wants the land returned to public ownership. State and federal Labor MPs said the government had concealed its development intentions for the headland. The statement now defuses a potentially toxic issue for the State LNP ahead of this month's state election.

Malabar Headland is the largest remaining stretch of untouched bushland between Botany Bay and South Head. The former federal government had planned to transform the entire headland, just 12 kilometres from central Sydney, into national park and public open space.

The finance department report suggested that selling at least part of the headland for development would maximise the return to the Commonwealth over four years and went on to say: "The site is both surplus to Commonwealth requirements and ideal for improvement through co-operation with the private sector," the business case said, estimating future development would generate an investment of "up to $1 billion" during the construction phase alone.

"Divestment of the site will relieve the Commonwealth of an ongoing financial liability associated with the maintenance and decontamination of the site," it said.

One third of the 160-hectare headland separating Malabar and Maroubra beaches, had been earmarked in the document as suitable for possible mixed-use development following remediation.

Shooters using the Rifle Range on the site will now move to an alternative location in Western Sydney. Properties adjoining the Rifle Range will now enjoy enhanced environment and less noise. Maroubra locals and all Sydney-siders can now look forward to free access to this unique area