Fight for cubba cubba

isja has been an avid supporter of the fight to save middle head, or cubba cubba to give it its aboriginal name, since we were made aware that this historical, but public, area had two projects vying for its space.

the first is a private-for-profit concern, middle head health care, will put a fence around middle head making it available only to those aged care occupants who can afford to pay for the privilege.

isja, of course, has no quarrel with the need for aged care facilities and over the coming years the need is only going to grow and we consider that these should be government controlled and managed rather than the plethora of private concerns that are there only for the profit before the care of their paying customers. the sins of these private concerns are well known. but we are now actively americanising our health, education, welfare, employment, (low wage and non-union even our armed forces are taking pay cuts as they are sent into foreign wars in the middle east) and of course, aged care.

the history of cubba cubba was that like other areas of the northern shore-line was concrete bunkers and gun emplacements during the pre-war years. i remember them well as my teenage friends and i would wander from bunker to bunker with our girl-friends in tow whilst first kisses and other interesting times were enjoyed. i cannot remember if middle head was part of those times.

the foreshore of our wonderful harbour were open to the public for civilian activities. to remove middle head or cubba cubba from public access is, to my mind, just so very wrong. the area belonged to the guringai clans but became federal government land over time. military buildings were erected but these, i presume, will be knocked down and accommodation for some 89, perhaps more, private clients.

the other alternative that isja strongly supports and advocates for is to keep the site open to the public and thus for public use. that public use was to turn the defence buildings into an australian war museum and history place. as we approach the centenary of the first imperial world war such a site screams out to be used for this purpose but it was the secondly use of this that that first attracted isja’s interest.

elaine and gordon syron together have a very important collection of aboriginal history in photography and art works that they have built up over many years. gordon himself is a recognised artist in his own right and is responsible for that well known art-politic statement whereby a white person is in the dock whilst all others from the judge down were obviously aboriginal. the work has become iconic in its own right. ‘judgement by his peers’ is an aboriginal classic.

not to be outdone by gordon’s 1 500 plus art works, elaine’s collection of at least 150 000 photographs of aboriginal history is in great need of an aboriginal keeping place where these treasures can finally be properly housed, properly catalogued and shown to all who would want to be amazed and educated at the same time. had this collection been non-aboriginal based then a place for it would have been found years ago.

this collection has been offered to art galleries, state libraries and aboriginal institutions but to no avail. the collections could have been sold off but the syrons were not out for personal enrichment. the collections are to be gifts to the aboriginal people and must be kept whole and together, we are indeed privileged by this outstanding gift and we must demand that the keeping place be at cubba cubba without delay. an aboriginal twin collections on aboriginal land.

the message and news article below give details on how to protest, especially to the foul abbott – the prime minister of aboriginal despair!

the relevant construction unions must be lobbied to re-enact the green bans of old that began at kelly’s bush, hunters hill in 1971. we need unionists of the calibre of jack mundey to save this site from private destruction. isja will support this call in anyway we can.


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

prix des droits de l’homme de la republique fraincaise 2013
(french human rights medal 2013)

1303/200 pitt street, waterloo. 2017
61 2 9318 0947
0450 651 063

we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people

Congressman Poe Statement On Mek In Iraq
By Ted Poe

I am very concerned that we are not doing enough to get the MEK out of Iraq. The MEK are Iranians stuck in a camp in Iraq because they oppose the Supreme Leader of Iran. The Iraqi government has capitulated time and again to the Supreme Leader by allowing armed militants to attack the MEK camp, even though the MEK voluntarily gave up their weapons and have no way to defend themselves.

Dozens have died in this inexcusable brutality. The MEK has given us valuable information about Iran’s nuclear program and simply wants freedom for all Iranian people. We need to do more to resettle the MEK in another country besides Iraq. They are not safe there.

– See more at:
Man the barricades!

Find chains to lock yourself onto the demolition bull-dozers!

Get advice from Jack Mundey about making a 21st century version of a Green Ban on any construction work at the former 10 Terminal Regiment buildings on Middle Head.

Write a NastyGram email to your local federal MP. His name is Tony Abbott!


phone: 02 9977 6411

electoral office: Level 2, 17 Sydney Road | Manly, NSW, 2095

Tell Teelia Peploe, Director of Middle Head Healthcare, not to start celebrating this decision too early. She has only won the first skirmish of what will surely become a very long battle.

Teelia Peploe
CEO Middle Head Healthcare
PO Box 3126
Bellevue Hill NSW 2023
m 0448 799 788

Prime Minister Abbott could have stopped this project with a single phone call! I can only assume he has not been listening to what the local community has been trying to tell him since about October 2013!

Despite a huge effort from many members of the local community, the Save Middle Head Campaign mark II, a growing band of supporters for keeping the military history of Middle Head, and a large number of supporters of a Keeping Place for Indigenous art and culture.

As Gough Whitlam would have said “Maintain your rage about this terrible decision by the Federal Government, Comrades! “

This is not a right vs left battle, or a “silver tails” vs the “blue collars”, or a lower north shore vs western Sydney !!!

All Australians should be angry that this Federal Govt is giving the green light to private commercial interests to alienate Australians from land that was vested with Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

If Middle Head Healthcare is given a 25 year lease on this land and then spend many tens of millions demolishing 90% of the single storey 10 Terminal Regiment buildings and replacing it with a 2 storey monstrosity that is totally lacking in any architectural merit, can you imagine any future government telling them to vacate those premises at the end of their lease? Not bloody likely.

It amounts to theft of a publicly owned asset for the benefit of a private commercial venture.

Why should Australians stand back and let private commercial interests acquire public assets so cheaply like this? It is happening far too often all over Australia these days. The Crown Land Our Land campaign tries had to shine the spotlight on a huge amount of dodgy issues where developers get their way at the expense of voters who dont have such deep pockets to oppose theft of publicly owned assets.

Remember when ordinary people stopped the Federal Government from disposing of Middle Head for housing projects back in the late 1990s?

Remember when the Green Bans saved the whole of The Rocks, Wooloomoolloo and Kellys Bush at Hunters Hill.

This decision sets a terrible precedent for many other pieces of of real estate and buildings that Sydney harbour Federation Trust has in their property portfolio – including North Head and Cockatoo Island. Do you think Geoff Bailey, CEO of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust is a fit person to manage public assets any more?

Geoff Bailey

Executive Director

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

PO Box 607

Mosman NSW 2088


w 02 8969 2100

John YoungCEO, Yindi Systems

Director Marketing, Keeping Place Project

0407 940 943

Abbott government approves aged-care proposal for Middle Head parkland

October 23, 2014 – 5:26PM

Green light: The federal government has approved a controversial proposal to convert former Defence buildings on Middle Head into an aged-care facility.

Green light: The federal government has approved a controversial proposal to convert former Defence buildings on Middle Head into an aged-care facility. Photo: Supplied

The federal government has given the green light to a controversial proposal to convert former Defence buildings on Middle Head into an aged-care facility, sparking a storm of protest from local opponents who say it will effectively privatise a section of public parklands.

The proposal for an 89-bed aged-care facility, to be operated by private company Middle Head Health Care, has also been approved by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the federal body that has custody of former Defence lands around the harbour.

Both the trust and the Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt or his delegate had to sign off on the plan for it to go ahead. Both have now done so.

“Rejuvenation”: Senator Simon Birmingham, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for the Environment. Photo: Jay Cronan

Announcing the decision on Thursday, parliamentary secretary for the Environment, Simon Birmingham, said the plan for the aged-care facility was a “rejuvenation” of the site known as 10 terminal, a cluster of former army buildings with a commanding position and spectacular views.

He said $3.5 million would also be invested in re-landscaping the area around the site, to create new lookouts and walking sites.

And he argued that the approval for the aged-care facility was “the best adaptive reuse solution for the site … to address a shortage of aged-care facilities on Sydney’s lower north shore”.

The proposal has been strongly opposed by Mosman Council and the National Trust as well as by local critics, who have banded together as the Headland Preservation Group.

Graham Quint, National Trust Advocacy Director, said the federal government’s approval of the plan amounted to tacit acceptance of an argument that the Middle Head defence buildings had no heritage significance.

“That sets a really bad precedent,” he said. “If you go down that line you’ll just end up with oral histories of everything and no fabric kept.”

Mayor of Mosman Council Peter Abelson condemned the decision as inconsistent with the aims of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and contrary to public opinion canvassed during the consultation process.

“The majority of the public who have communicated with us very clearly think there are better use of the land that are more environmentally friendly, sociable and less exclusive,” he said.

“Eighty-nine beds on this site is a very dense development, it’s a very exclusive development, and its out of keeping with the military heritage and environmental quality of the area.”

The facility’s operator, Middle Head Health Care, said through director Teelia Peploe that conversion of the 10 Terminal buildings would mean “a significant addition to the fabric of community life in the Middle Head vicinity, and the lower north shore generally.”

But Headland Preservation Group president Linda Bergin said it was a ” terrible decision”, which her group believed was “illegal”.

“We will be assessing our legal options and exploring ways to stop the development taking place” she said.

She said she believed that “most in the community would be horrified that the site is being sold off to a developer”.

The trust and Senator Birmingham say the site will be leased for only 25 years, with no renewal, but opponents say it will be impossible to dislodge elderly residents as the lease term draws to an end.

A former long-standing member of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Board, Brigadier Kevin O’Brien, says he is horrified that the current board seemed prepared to accept the proposal.

“They [the plan’s advocates] will tell you that they are going to do a … [25-year lease] but anybody with a business brain would tell you that this is predicated on something much longer,” he said.

“You will never get the people out. The business itself will never leave. I think we are effectively selling off prime Sydney real estate to an entrepreneur; that’s what we are doing.”

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