National Parks and Worimi Conservation Lands celebrate first jointly funded office-depot in NSW

The ribbon is cut to officially open the new NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) facility in Anna Bay.

A NEW $7 million NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) facility for 40 staff in the Hunter coast area was officially opened last week.

This is the first time a property has been jointly funded by both the NSW Government and an Aboriginal joint management board.

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It’s been seventeen years since the NSW Government handed back more than 4,200 hectares of land at Stockton Bight to registered Worimi owners to establish the popular Worimi Conservation Lands (WCL) in partnership with the NPWS.

The WCL Board of Management, which manages Worimi Conservation Lands in partnership with NPWS, funded half of the construction costs.

“Establishing a purpose-built office and depot on Worimi Conservation Lands has been a dream for the Board since the first board began the journey in 2008,” said Jamie Tarrant, Chair of the Board of Management for the Worimi Conservation Lands.

“The Board have wanted to create a space the Worimi community could be proud; where our staff can succeed and grow.

“In designing this space, we wanted to have the next generation aspire and be proud to work for NPWS.

“The Worimi Conservation Lands Board are delighted to partner with NSW NPWS to deliver the first office and depot of its kind in NSW.

“We now have a place to come together and deliver our work in caring for Worimi Country.”

The NPWS office and depot was purpose-built on Worimi Conservation Lands, consolidating office and field-based operations that were formerly separate, while servicing future park management needs and reducing response time for incidents such as bushfires.

More than 20 national parks and conservation areas are managed by the NPWS Hunter Coast area, and the new facility will enhance team communication, coordination, work efficiency and safety.

The new Hunter Coast Area office and depot will also establish a vital ‘home base’ for Worimi Conservation Land board meetings, with the building incorporating energy efficiency and other sustainability measures.

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington was in Anna Bay for the building’s opening.

“In Port Stephens, we are proud of our national parks, and especially the world renowned Worimi Conservation Lands,” she said.

“This new combined office and depot space means all staff are on the one site to work more effectively to protect and manage our precious environments that are so special to the Hunter Central Coast.

“This project is the culmination of many years of meaningful collaboration between local NPWS staff and the Worimi Conservation Lands Board – all involved are to be congratulated for their ongoing commitment to caring for country.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Trish Doyle, also in town for the opening, commended the combined efforts of the NPWS and traditional owners.

“It was a privilege to gather in this extraordinary place and celebrate not only the logistical benefits of this new premises but also, the opportunity to strengthen the part Aboriginal communities play in protecting their cultural heritage.

“The collaboration between NPWS and the Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management sets a shining example of what’s possible and I’d like to think this model can be replicated in other areas of the state.”

The Worimi Conservation Lands Board manages Aboriginal-owned Worimi Conservation Lands park to protect the natural and cultural values of the Stockton Bight landscape, while providing public access and promoting safe, sustainable recreational and commercial use.

The new office is on the Worimi Conservation Lands at 4154 Nelson Bay Road, Anna Bay.

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