Revitalising the Former Manly Aquarium

The NSW Government is working with Northern Beaches Council to find the best solution, backed by the local community, to revitalise the former Manly Sea Life Sanctuary Aquarium.

Member for Manly James Griffin said the prominent aquarium site, owned by Transport for NSW, has already had a lot of interest including proposals that would develop it into a museum, restaurant or bar.

“The former Manly Aquarium site has been an important part of the Manly waterfront since it was purpose-built in the 1960s,” Mr Griffin said.

“We want to ensure the final outcome for the site considers Council’s plans for the area but is also the best result for both the local community and visitors to the area.

“Essentially, the options are to either repurpose the existing building for community, educational, cultural or commercial uses. Alternatively, the site could be demolished, possibly to make way for new facilities to support any of these uses, subject to planning consent.”

The site has been an aquarium since the 1960s. The buildings that once housed marine life, built atop a plinth in the water, are now empty.

Mayor of Northern Beaches Council Michael Regan said he welcomed the opportunity to work with the State Government to get the best outcome for the community.

“We know the community are in favour of increased public space as well as better recognition of Aboriginal heritage in this area,” Mayor Regan said.

“I look forward to finding a solution for this iconic area that the community will embrace for generations to come.”

Mr Griffin said there was a lot of interest in the site and there have been many good ideas put forward so far.

“Ultimately we want to see what is best for the community and we will be listening to feedback from stakeholders,” Mr Griffin said.

“There are a number of constraints, considerations and environmental impacts to be considered for any future use, including the protected Little Penguin colony and sea grasses endemic to the area.”