Preserving and showcasing the rich history of the Port Stephens region is a key driver behind a continued community push to develop the Tomaree Headland.
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In July, the Tomaree Headland Heritage Group Inc, formerly known as the Friends of Tomaree Headland, released an updated ‘Community Vision’ document, outlining their key objectives and highlighting opportunities for the area.
“We see a lot of opportunities for this fantastic site and the headland,” Peter Clough, the group’s president said.
“There is a huge amount of history here, particularly WW2 history, Worimi history, European and marine history. We would like to see that history restored, preserved and properly interpreted.”
It is understood by the group that the Tomaree Lodge site, currently managed by Family and Community Services, will be vacated within the year.
On 14 July, Port Stephens Council advocated for the development of a ‘multiagency Headland Management Plan’ to inform the future direction and use of the area.
The Tomaree Headland Heritage Group Inc, have made a number of recommendations for improvements to the site, including; additional and improved access to Headland Walkways, improved provision of public amenities, improved signage and better parking and traffic management.
“Some of the key things we would like addressed in the short term include parking. Parking is a key issue, as well as an amenities block as well as a water station. The closest amenities block is about 400 metres away,” said Mr Clough.
“At the bottom of the walks, there is a lack of signage. It would be nice to have a sense of arrival at the site with some information about the walks.
The group would also like to see the restoration and preservation of existing WW2 relics and gun emplacements.
“If you go up and walk around the headland, there are gunning placements, relics, torpedo tubes. They are all there, but no one has restored them or told their story properly through interpretation.
“We see that as an especially important aspect. Apart from the beautiful environment, this history would be hugely interesting to a lot of people,” Mr Clough said.
“This could become a big focus for tourism. We currently don’t have our story being fully told.”
The Tomaree Headland Heritage Group Inc, is comprised of representatives from nine community organisations from the local area.
By Doug CONNOR