The recent heritage listing of Old Sydney Town by the National Trust is unlikely to have any impact on plans to turn the site into a huge tourist destination, says the spokesperson for the new owners of the site, World Culture Tourism Village CEO, Guben Huang,
Huang said plans for the site had always been to deliver something respectful of the past but which also provides employment, recreation and tourism opportunities for the region into the future.
The company announced in May plans to retain some of the former theme park’s original buildings as the hub of a key attraction, incorporating a performing arts area, entertainment and attractions, retail and exhibition facilities, food and beverages, water based activities and a hotel.
“We have a team of experts and heritage specialists who are providing advice on our plans,” Huang said.
“We have always said we intend to retain some of the Old Sydney Town buildings to (pay) tribute to Sydney’s colonial past and (enhance) the historical and cultural heritage value of the site to the community.
“We are at the start of a long and ongoing conversation with the community and stakeholders about the site and we look forward to continuing this as plans and ideas develop.
“In the past, the site has failed because it has been limited to a single use, stand-alone tourism destination, dispersed over a wide area.
“The key to success is to deliver a destination that captures the best things about the past but that also offers contemporary experiences and land uses that will also ensure a bright future.”
The National Trust typically list places with aesthetic, historic, architectural, archaeological, scientific or social significance, but the listing has no legal power and simply acts as a guide in the development application process.
The Old Sydney Town theme park operated on the site between 1975 and 2003, before closing after many years of financial losses.
Media release, Jul 12
World Culture Tourism Village CEO, Guben Huang