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    “Significant” upgrades approved for Sydney Opera House

    Kirsty Sier

    Sydney Opera House is to receive a new function centre and other “significant” upgrades as part of a $202-million renewal project, announced by the NSW government last week.

    The announcement follows four weeks of community consultation regarding works to be done on the iconic building, as well as any possible heritage implications. The resulting application, submitted by the Sydney Opera House Trust, was approved following an assessment by the Department of Planning and Environment.

    As well as the new function centre, the Opera House will see its existing ballet rehearsal room relocated from its current position to the south-east of the building. The marquee on the site’s northern boardwalk will be removed, and a number of removable bollards and umbrellas will be installed in its place.

    According to the director of key sites assessments, Ben Lusher, a heritage consultant will be engaged throughout the renewal project to ensure the iconic site is not adversely impacted.

    “The Department [of Planning and Environment] has considered the issues raised through community consultation as well as comments provided by NSW Heritage,” he says.

    “Ensuring the heritage of one of Australia’s most iconic buildings is a key priority, so we have recommended a heritage consultant be engaged through the construction stages of the development. The heritage consultant would oversee the works to the interior walls and ensure significant fabric of the building is preserved, restored or removed appropriately.”

    At this stage, it is unclear when work is set to commence on the most recent round of approved upgrades.

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