Latest News

Back to Latest News back


NSW Government approves funding for redevelopment of Walsh Bay arts precinct

NSW Government approves funding for redevelopment of Walsh Bay arts precinct
November 15, 2019

The NSW Government has approved funding for the redevelopment of Pier 2/3 at the Walsh Bay precinct, ending fears from some of the state's largest arts companies that the major project would be delayed indefinitely.

According to sources reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, $100 million in funding for the new arts precinct was approved by the NSW Government at the end of last month, having earlier put a hold on finance for the project.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bell Shakespeare and the Australian Theatre for Young People have all operated out of Pier 2/3, with the latter moving to Darlinghurst last year ahead of the expected start to the redevelopment of the heritage-listed wharf.

Construction was originally scheduled to be finished next year, but the NSW Government had put a pause on any new money being used for the project until the meeting last month.

It is now anticipated that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin will make an announcement confirming the project will go ahead in the coming weeks.

The development will transform the wharf, for decades part of Sydney's working harbour, into a significant cultural space which will also be used for events including the Sydney Writers' Festival, the Biennale of Sydney and commercial functions.

The Sydney Morning Herald report suggested that “the decision to provide the generous funding at a time of drought and with the state enduring the start of a torrid bushfire season is likely to upset some Coalition MPs, with concerns being raised internally about the difficulty in obtaining more money for regional communities.”

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has, led by its Chairman Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, led the lobbying effort for the funding, including meeting with Minister Harwin in July.

Former Liberal Senator Chris Puplick, now the Australian Theatre for Young People’s Chairman, has also publicly warned the theatre company could close if the development was delayed after losing more than $200,000 in annual revenue due to its relocation.

Puplick told the Herald in September “it should all be worth it when we get back our Pier 2/3 home as we have been promised by the Berejiklian government.

"If they fail us then I give no guarantee that the company can continue."

The Walsh Bay redevelopment - first announced during the 2015 NSW election and now forecast to cost $245 million - also includes work on Pier 4/5, which houses the Sydney Theatre Company, the Sydney Dance Company and the Bangarra Dance Theatre.

That development is expected to be completed next year.

However, the completion of the project has been repeatedly delayed, including by a successful 2017 legal challenge brought by restaurateur Brigid Kennedy, the former Chairwoman of Walsh Bay Arts and Commerce, over the legality of the NSW Government's planning approval.

Image: Artist's render of the exterior of the redeveloped Pier 2/3 at the Walsh Bay precinct when complete.

Related Articles

30th July 2019 - NSW Tourism Minister talks of backing for new Sydney theatres

3rd October 2018 - Major redevelopment of Sydney harbourside arts precinct begins

17th July 2018 - Sydney Theatre Company wins in 10 categories at 2018 Helpmann Awards

1st June 2018 - Sydney Theatre Company records biggest ever deficit

24th May 2018 - Walsh Bay arts precinct given development to proceed after backing from locals

5th April 2017 - NSW Government commits more funds for Walsh Bay arts precinct transformation

2nd November 2016 - Sydney Theatre Company confirms Kip Williams as Artistic Director

22nd March 2016 - NSW Government appoints architect for Walsh Bay arts precinct

9th February 2016 - Union accuses Sydney Theatre Company management of ‘ignoring staff safety’

1st February 2016 - Sydney theatres underutilised and inaccessible

22nd May 2015 - Walsh Bay Arts Precinct concept gets green light

6th May 2015 - Roslyn Packer Theatre marks new era for Sydney Theatre Company

26th October 2014 - Barangaroo development to include new Sydney theatre?

23rd May 2013 - Long Lease and $5 million Secures Sydney Theatre Company

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues



The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


TicketSearch Pty Ltd

TicketSearch is focused on providing businesses, organisations, and venues with affordable, efficient, and powerful self-managed ticketing solutions. The organisation has offices in Australia, New…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business