$1 million to restore South Head Signal Station

Media release | 5 March 2021

The NSW Government will provide $1 million to restore the State Heritage listed South Head Signal Station at Vaucluse as part of its COVID-19 stimulus program.

The construction of the Signal Station in the 1840s, based on the design of Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis, provided an important communications point for shipping entering and leaving Port Jackson.

Member for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton welcomed the restoration work on the Crown land site to be undertaken by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands.

“Local residents treasure the historic landmarks that make our local area so special – South Head Signal Station is one such landmark and is well overdue for an upgrade.

“As part of the works, $500,000 will be provided this financial year and another $500,000 next financial year to allow for upgrades of the Signal Station tower and its two cottages.

“The tower will have repairs made to its roof, windows, doors, handrails, walkways and kitchen while the cottages will have maintenance work completed.

“Once these upgrades are complete, the Signal Station will continue to be a maritime icon and also a beacon for residents and visitors who regularly use the open space for recreation.”

Woollahra Mayor Councillor Susan Wynne said the funding will help to ensure the iconic landmark can continue to be enjoyed well into the future by local residents and visitors taking in the highlights of the Coast Walk.

“The Signal Station is important as both a local landmark and also as one of the most significant places in Australia’s heritage, and I’m so pleased that this restoration will further enhance it for our community and visitors to enjoy,” Mayor Wynne said.

Peter Poland OAM, President of the Woollahra History and Heritage Society, said the South Head Signal Station is one of the area's most historic sites.

“It dates from January 1790 when Governor Phillip agreed to Captain Hunter’s suggestion that a Lookout Post be established at Outer South Head. A flagstaff was erected so that a flag could be flown to advise approaching ships where the new settlement had moved to from Botany Bay and the Governor down at Sydney Cove that a ship had been sighted.

“The restoration and upgrading of the South Head Signal Station will ensure that this important site with its flagstaff will be preserved for the enjoyment and appreciation of its history of future generations,” Mr Poland said.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said a new $16.5 million Greater Sydney Crown Land Open Space Activation Program would also fund upgrades to Crown land and community facilities.

“The last 12 months has taught us the importance of green open space and creating public places where people can safely meet, congregate and relax," Mr Stokes said.

“By improving Crown land and public infrastructure we can make better use of the assets we already have to create more open space for the community to enjoy.”

For more information on NSW Public spaces visit: https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/premiers-priorities/great-public-spaces.

Gabrielle Upton, Minister Stokes and some local residents in front of South Head Signl Station

Gabrielle Upton, Minister Stokes and some local residents