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Picnic on the Platform

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by Jody Kimber (subscribe)
Freelance writing. Out of the urban clutter of the East and now situated on the Pittwater.
Event:
Awesome fun @ The Coal Loader Opening


North Sydney Council is inviting everyone for a picnic to celebrate the opening of the Coal Loader Platform on Saturday 24 March. This awesome new public open space has been a work in progress for some time an is now open to all. This Saturday is the opening event for the Platform. Bring along your whole family, a picnic rug and all your friends. Be there from 3pm for "live music, food stalls, guided tours, interactive art, workshops, children's activities."

Along with all the fun is the Official opening. Costa Georgiadis, the host of Gardening Australia, will MC the official proceedings of Picnic on the Platform from 6pm and then watch the rest of the harbour at its finest during Earth Hour, when the lights go out at 8.30pm.



Steeped in history, the old coal-loading platform of the Coal Loader Centre in Waverton has undergone a complete makeover, transforming it into one of Sydney's largest publicly accessible green roof spaces. The one-hectare concrete and sandstone platform (the size of seven Olympic-sized swimming pools) has been renovated into a multi-purpose recreational and 'outdoor classroom' space with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.



The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability, located on Cammeraygal peoples land, was first dedicated to open space in 1997. The Centre, itself was opened in 2011 and now the Platform overlooking Sydney Harbour is complete and to be opened this Saturday.

The Coal Loader was still in operation up to the early 1990s. Being used as depot for coal transfers from the 1920s, the platform structure "housed a large coal stockpile."

"Beneath the platform are a series of tunnels, each with a number of chutes through which the coal was transferred into coal 'skips'. The skips operated on a cable-hauled railway system that ran as a continuous loop through the two western-most tunnels and then out onto the finger wharf in Balls Head Bay, where they loaded waiting steamers. This loading system was replaced by a high speed conveyor in the mid 1970s which then serviced ships carrying export coal until 1992." (NSC - Coal Loader History)

North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson said that "there will be a myriad of exciting things to see and do" at Picnic on the Platform. "We're ready to welcome the community to our newest, and largest, public green space you'll be able to check out our new community urban harvest plots, explore the Coal Loader tunnels, enjoy the native garden surrounding five large moving solar panel structures and learn about the historical background of the original coal-loading operations".

"Drink in the amazing harbour views with us as we picnic with delicious food, live music and entertainment on the platform lawn." View recent photographs, watch video footage, read historical details, and find out more about the event at www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/coalloader

This is an awesome day out for the whole family. Environmental and social. Add it to your calendar. It's really going to be a fun event filled afternoon and evening.



There are Artisan Markets at the Coal Loader on May 27th, you can visit the Coal Loader most days or even hire the Coal Loader as an event venue.
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Why? Celebrate the opening of the Coal Loader.
When: 3pm to 9.30pm Sat 24th March
Phone: (02) 9936 8100
Where: Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability
Cost: Free entertainment, food and other consumables available at your own cost.
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