Tomaree Peninsula, Port Stephens

By 1974, many Port Stephens’ residents were fed up with the indiscriminate development of high-rises on the central coast, particularly on foreshores. They spent years opposing such projects, arguing that the sewage system was inadequate for the increasing population and that the buildings themselves seriously detracted from the natural beauty of the area. For years, local council leaned on the side of developers and ignored the opinions of residents who, in their disenchantment, turned to the BLF for support. At the request of the Port Stephens Conservation Society and the Tomaree Peninsula Council of Progress Associations, a ‘holding ban’ was placed on the construction of on the construction of buildings higher than four-storeys in the Port Stephens area, specifically on Tomaree Peninsula; this included Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, and Fingle Bay. The ban was lifted after a public meeting on 19 May 1974 after the establishment of Interim Development Order 23 which outlined conditions for the construction of flats more than four-storeys. This code was so strict, council believed that any developments of the kind were likely to ever take place.

Verity and Meredith Burgmann, Green bans, red union: the saving of a city, 1998.

Research provided by Isabella Maher


On the 50th anniversary of the Green Bans, the ideals of their struggle to protect heritage and environmental amenity for all to enjoy are more urgent than ever. In 2011 the Green Bans Art Walk and Exhibition (in two parts at The Cross Art Projects and The Firstdraft Depot Project Space), told the story of an inspired period, its charismatic leaders and grass-roots heroes. The project comprised a series of public guided walks between the exhibition venues functioned as a living instruction manual and moral compass charting stories of good and evil, creativity and conflict. Read more


The Powerhouse Museum Alliance is a group of concerned citizens working to save the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. The Alliance includes longstanding benefactors of the museum, former trustees, design and heritage experts and senior museum professionals. Read more