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You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Government, UG, SMDA & RWA Statements / 2008 / Govt to Sell 99 Year Lease Over ATP to Private Sector

Govt to Sell 99 Year Lease Over ATP to Private Sector

Commercial assets and leases belonging to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) and the Australian Technology Park (ATP) at Redfern will be placed on the market as part of the NSW Government’s Mini-Budget reportsd this media release was issued by the Minister for Planning and Minister for Redfern Waterloo on 11 November 2008.

Infrastructure levies reviewed, and leases for ATP and Darling Harbour

Commercial assets and leases belonging to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) and the Australian Technology Park (ATP) at Redfern will be placed on the market as part of the NSW Government’s Mini-Budget.

NSW Treasury will also undertake a review of developer infrastructure levies to improve the supply and affordability of housing across the state, to be completed early next year.

Minister for Planning Kristina Keneally said that retail and commercial leases at Darling Harbour, including the Harbourside Shopping Centre, Sydney Aquarium and IMAX theatre will be subject to a 99-year lease.

“The long term lease of these assets will provide a shot in the arm for the State’s economy,” Ms Keneally said.

“It will also free-up the government agencies responsible for these assets, the SHFA and the Redfern-Waterloo Authority (RWA), to strengthen their focus on what they do best.”

Ms Keneally said the SHFA excels in the preservation of heritage icons and the delivery of world class events that showcase the Darling Harbour and Rocks precincts.

“They are doing excellent work as a Government agency but their role should not be the management and ongoing maintenance of commercial buildings and assets,” Ms Keneally said.

“These assets are more suited to commercial investment and ongoing operation from the private sector.”

Ms Keneally said leasing SHFA’s commercial assets will strengthen their focus on providing entertainment and enjoyment to the thousands of international and domestic visitors that flock to Darling Harbour and The Rocks each year.

“SHFA will retain ownership of the Entertainment Centre, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Chinese Gardens and public domain assets at Darling Harbour, Luna Park and The Rocks Precinct,” Ms Keneally said.

“These are landmarks, synonymous with Sydney, and the continued good work of SHFA will maintain the status they hold with Sydneysiders and visitors.

“The Government purchased the ATP because it was in financial stress and did not have the financial capacity to restructure its business,” Ms Keneally said.

“The Park has turned this around. It is more appropriate for the private sector to take over its ownership and operation.”

Ms Keneally said the leasing of each asset will be staged and will only proceed if there is appropriate interest from the private sector.

Ms Keneally said she did not expect this to have an impact on the price of admission to sites such as the Sydney Aquarium, the IMAX theatre or rents in the Harbourside Shopping Centre.

“The entry prices for these venues are set by the commercial operators, as are the rents for shops located in the Harbourside Shopping Centre,” Ms Keneally said.

The decision to lease the commercial assets of the SHFA and the ATP adds to recent Government savings announced by Ms Keneally including:

  • $150 million in advanced expenditure and $25 million in interest saved by delaying the construction of the Barangaroo Headland Park until 2011.
  • $3 million in savings from a restructure of planning agencies to be reinvested into the Department of Planning so they can hire a team of specialist project managers to speed-up land release and the redevelopment of existing urban areas across the state.
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