Expressions Of Interest for Urunga Boat Houses

1. Minister Melinda Pavey hopes for EOIs to activate Atherton Drive.


DO you fancy taking on board four iconic boat houses set on the beautiful Kalang River?

The revitalising and repurposing of iconic buildings will be of community interest to Urunga residents and all who have enjoyed the quaint historic buildings to date.

The NSW government has put out a tender for the four historic boat houses on Atherton Drive at Urunga.

The callout is an Expression of Interest campaign to lease, restore and reactivate four boathouses on the Kalang River and is part of the Atherton Drive Foreshore Master Plan released in 2018.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the EOI process will test the market’s interest to restore, refit and repurpose the boathouses to improve visitor amenity and activate the Atherton Drive foreshore recreation area.

The EOI process follows the adoption of the Master Plan which sets out the basis for the sustainable future use and development of this significant area of Bellinger Heads State Park.

“The Atherton Drive foreshore is a popular recreation area and the retention and adaptive reuse of the boathouses has the potential to enhance the foreshore for locals and visitors alike,” Minister Pavey said.

“The community told us it wanted to see the foreshore activated with new attractions and things to do, so we are seeking proposals that will breathe new life into the site.

“Potential reuse would also complement other public open space improvements, offering greater opportunities for locals and visitors to enjoy the Kalang River at Urunga.”

The issue of what to do with the historic boathouses has been on the radar since 2017 when consultations began with community and interested parties.

Traditional boathouses, built between the 1930’s and 1960’s, have long been a prominent feature of the Atherton Drive foreshore.

The Master Plan states, “These boatsheds were held under permissive occupancies (a form of tenure) by individuals, many of whom converted the structures into two story dwellings to use for holiday accommodation.

“There were once 40 such boat houses but this number has dwindled as many boat houses were demolished following the surrender of the permissive occupancies.

“It has been NSW Government policy to remove the cottages as they progressively revert to the Crown, thus adding valuable foreshore land to the adjoining recreational Reserve.”

The Atherton Drive precinct, Urunga is under the management of the Bellinger Heads State Park Trust, which is jointly administered by both the NSW Department of Industry – Lands and Bellingen Shire Council.

Following the EOI process, shortlisted applicants may be invited to submit a more detailed tender application.

The criteria used to evaluate EOIs will include economic viability, contribution to visitor amenity and the proposed planning approval pathway.

If approved, the boathouses would be leased by Crown Lands to successful applicants.

The EOI is open for eight weeks from 26 February 2021 to 23 April 2021, with further information available at


By Sandra MOON


2. One of the four boat houses covered in the Expression Of Interest

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