Port Stephens residents invited to have a say on the future management of Tomaree National Park

SUPPORT: Convenor Peter Clough (right) with representatives of the eight groups who make up the Friends of Tomaree Headland.
SUPPORT: Convenor Peter Clough (right) with representatives of the eight groups who make up the Friends of Tomaree Headland.

Proposed improvements to the Tomaree headland coastal walk and visitor experiences have been placed on public exhibition as part of a new-look draft Tomaree National Park Plan of Management for 2019.

Port Stephens residents have until September 16 to have their say on the future management of Tomaree National Park by lodging submissions on a raft of planned amendments.

The concept plans have the support of Friends of Tomaree Headland, "most significantly the development of the Tomaree coastal walk which will further enhance the Tomaree headland as a visitor destination", according to FoTH convenor Peter Clough.

"In fact, we believe the headland has the potential to become a nationally significant visitor attraction as part of an outstanding natural and heritage asset located in Port Stephens. The new Tomaree coastal walk will also enhance the opportunity of showcasing the headland as an intrinsic part of the Australian World War II history," he said.

A spokesperson for the NSW Environment Department said that the plan included information on important park values and provided directions for future management.

"In 2018 the government announced funding to significantly enhance visitor facilities and create iconic experiences, including new walking tracks, accommodation and tourism partnerships, in a number of national parks across the state," the spokesperson said.

"These projects are part of the National Parks visitor infrastructure program and aim to increase nature-based tourism in Port Stephens, boost regional economies and improve community well-being.

"The current plan of management for Tomaree National Park, adopted in 2006, is being amended to enable delivery of an iconic 20-kilometre coastal walking experience from Tomaree Head to Birubi Point.

Past Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC and Port Stephens councillor Chris Doohan at the entry for the 23 kilometre Tomaree Coastal Walk. In June 2018, the pair announced the NSW Government would $6.7 million spend on upgrades to the walking trail. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Past Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC and Port Stephens councillor Chris Doohan at the entry for the 23 kilometre Tomaree Coastal Walk. In June 2018, the pair announced the NSW Government would $6.7 million spend on upgrades to the walking trail. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

"It will involve the upgrade of existing tracks and construction of new track sections and improvements to the visitor facilities such as viewing platforms, public amenities, car parking and interpretation on the walk."

People will also have an opportunity to view and comment on the draft masterplan and the environmental impact assessment, prior to development approval.

The spokesperson said that at the end of the public exhibition period in September, National Parks would review all submissions, prepare a report and make any necessary changes to the proposed amendment.

The amendment is finalised when the Minister formally adopts the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

For further information about the draft strategy interested people can contact the NPWS Park Management Planning Team on (02) 9585 6595. Copies are available for viewing at National Parks office, Level 1, 12B Teramby Road, Nelson Bay.

Written submissions can be made to Manager Planning Evaluation and Assessment , PO Box 95 Parramatta NSW 2124; or by email to npws.parkplanning@environment.nsw.gov.au.

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