In 1967 the NSW Government appointed Sir John Overall to assess the state of the historic Rocks site and to propose suggestions for, the future of the area.. "He recommended the setting up of an Authority similar to the National Capital Development Commission which would have complete control of the planning, design and redevelopment of the Rocks area.(1)
The Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority commenced operation on 12 January 1970.(2) An Act providing for the constitution of the Authority, defining its powers, duties and functions, had been assented to on 10 December 1968. The Authority was given most of the State-owned property in The Rocks, with a charter to restore, renovate and redevelop the area, and an obligation to acquire the relatively small parcels of privately-owned land there. It was also given the power to grant leases but not to sell any of the land and was made responsible for raising its own funds by renting properties or by way of a borrowing program.
The first meeting of the Authority, commenced the development of a planning scheme for the restoration and redevelopment of The Rocks. The scheme was approved by the Minister, The Hon. P.H. Morton, M.L.A., on 3 February 1971.(3) The Scheme falls into three sections, the Northern Section from Dawes Point to Argyle Street, the Central Section, from Argyle Street to the Cahill Expressway and the Southern section from the Cahill Expressway south to Grosvenor Street.(4) The first project undertaken by the Authority was the renovation of the Argyle Centre.
Members of the Authority are appointed in accordance with the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority Act, and include the Chair and Deputy Chair, who are nominees of the Minister, another two nominees of the Minister with knowledge of town planning or building development, a nominee of the Minister for Public Works and an officer of the Council of the City of Sydney.
In 1997 the Authority wascomprised of the following divisions:
a) The Architecture, Conservation and Planning Branch, b) Property and Assets Branch, c) Rocks Visitors Centre which opened on 22 February 1994 in the former Sydney Sailor’s Home, d) Rocks Market, e) Marketing Branch and the f) Corporate Services Branch.
The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority took over the functions of the Sydney Cove Authority on 1 February 1999.
(1) Annual Report of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority, year ended 30 June 1978, NSW Parliamentary Papers 1978-79, Vol. 5, p827.
(2) NSW Government Gazette No. 144, 12 December 1969, Vol. 4
(3) Annual Report of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority, year ended June 1974, NSW Parliamentary Papers, 1974-75, Vol. 5, pp.27-34.
(4) Annual Report of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority, year ended 30 June 1978, NSW Parliamentary Papers 1978-79, Vol. 5, p827.
(1)New South Wales Government Gazette 1969
(2)Joint Volumes of the Parliamentary Papers of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of NSW, Sydney Government Printer, 1974-1979
(3) NSW Government Directory 1978-1996
(4)Annual Report of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority 1995-96
(5)Concise Guide 2nd Edition "Sur-Y", "Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority", p.43