Exploring the cultural future of Tomaree Headland

FOLLOWING a recent judgment handed down by the Land and Environment Court, Tomaree Headland, formerly the home of Tomaree Lodge, will now be available for development for community use.

Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services, Natasha McLaren-Jones has greeted the news with a call to community groups for consultation on how to best repurpose the site.

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In anticipation of this decision, several community groups have already been established, all with the aim of enhancing the facilities of the area.

The incorporated groups are working in collaboration and include Destination Port Stephens, Port Stephens Historical Society, Tomaree Museum Association, Marine Parks and Tomaree Cultural Development Group (TCDG).

Chairman of TCDG Kathie Barnes said, “We envisage a performance centre and exhibition place for Tomaree Headland.

“These facilities would provide a much-needed destination for both locals and visitors where people, culture, history and the arts meet.

“A broad selection of programs would be inclusive of our local population as well as appeal to visitors to the area.

“Such a development would facilitate community engagement, boost employment opportunities, smooth the peaks and troughs for the accommodation industry, retail and allied tourism operators and encourage business investment.”

From the end of October, these local community groups will join with Port Stephens Council and other interested parties in consultation on the future of Tomaree Headland.

The consultation period will last for 60 days and members of the public are invited to have their say.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin is encouraging community participation.

“Port Stephens community is passionate about the future of this historic and iconic site and I’m looking forward to hearing more from the community,” Mr Martin said.

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