Sydney’s sandstones should be tourism icons

Sydney’s Planning and Education buildings on Bridge St, known as the Sandstones, are iconic and deserve to be lovingly restored, repurposed and opened up to visitors and locals. Creating high end hotels in the sandstone buildings will ensure they are preserved for generations and have a purpose that far exceeds office space.

Peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has called on the Greens to rethink their opposition to the use of these buildings as tourism assets, an approach that would deny Sydney of the opportunity to see unique tourism facilities developed at these locations.

TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said “The visitor economy is critically important to the New South Wales economy. Tourism supports more than 267,000 jobs in NSW, 158,000 of these directly meaning nearly 1 in every 14 jobs in the state relies on a strong visitor economy.

“If we support significant developments such as these, we will continue to see those jobs supported and new jobs created.

“Not only that, but the more people we attract to Sydney, the more money those visitors pump into the entire economy spending money on accommodation, attractions, transport, restaurants and retail.

“There are numerous examples of how these redevelopments can be done in a way that is respectful of the buildings original heritage but also exciting and innovative. In Sydney, the Intercontinental, itself a sandstone building, has set the bar. The hotel has modern rooms and facilities, but also beautifully restored historic function rooms like the Premier’s Room but the highlight is the atrium and café that celebrates the original building and is open to the public.

“The Greens say they are vocal supporters of the tourism industry – one of the most sustainable industries in Australia – if that is true, they should support this development.

“It is ill considered political headline grabbing to reject a use for these cultural buildings that is all about jobs.”