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Tomaree Lodge 1.jpg

Tomaree Lodge site Visit: 19 November 2021


Ryan Palmer- Mayor, Cllr John Nell, Cllr Glen Dunkley, Cllr Chris Doohan, John Maretich- Council Engineer, Steven Peart- Council Executive

Paul Roberts [ Dept of Communities and Justice - based in Newcastle], Craig Heinjus [ A Director Infrastructure -Dept of Communities and Justice -Sydney]


Peter Clough – Tomaree Headland Heritage Group attended and wrote the following report: [A few images were taken with permission]


We were allowed access to a few buildings including the Admin block and the recreation room- [same building] see images below. Craig Heinjus was the tour director

  • The site is generally in reasonable order [albeit there are many maintenance issues] and quite roomy but this is my interpretation only.

  • Craig could not confirm or otherwise whether there was any asbestos

  • All furniture and equipment have been removed

  • Most of the buildings are dormitories with a number of rooms , kitchen and amenities – very suitable for student accommodation or restaurants

  • Not all buildings will have heritage value

The comment was made by Craig  that the decision to  transition the   Lodge  to the Community was made two Minister ago [ Gareth Ward] and this is the current standing- he said this issue has not been discussed with the current Minister . We subsequently mentioned that we had also received a commitment from the previous Premier – he responded by saying that the current Premier had a completely different style particularly matters relating to finance. However Craig did make the comment that the Dept of Community and Justice had no further use for the site and the Department of Planning , Industry and the Environment [ Melinda Pavey is the Minister] who would determine the future of the site .

Land Claim:     He raised the matter of there being two current land claims, One for the entire site - The second was for portions of the site including the northern open park

  • Both are subject to appeal through the Land and Environment Court – he mentioned February 2022 as a key date

  • He also mentioned that there had been cases where successful land claims had resulted in the Government of the time doing financial deals with the successful claimants

  • He made reference to the claims being made during or prior to 2019 when the site had a use but could not comment whether the fact that it had no current use on whether that would influence a claim decision

  • He did make the comment that if the claim was successful there would be a significant ongoing maintenance liability for the successful claimant.

Conservation Management Plan [CMP]

  • One of the positives was that the Government has completed the CMP for the Lodge site which was extremely voluminous and costly.

  • By the way it identified that there were a number of tunnels on the Headland including behind and part of the Lodge site

  • They provided us with 2 pages of extracts from the CMP

Site Ownership:   Is definitely owned [and Managed] by the Dept of Communities and Justice – not Dept of Health!!

Security:                     Will continue to be 24/7

Oyster hatchery:   Not willing to give them a lease until the future of the site has been determined and he has told the tenant accordingly

Maintenance:           Disability people under the NDIS maintain the site


  • There will be no immediate decision but referenced February 2022 as a date of interest

  • The decision process will be managed by the Dept of Planning, Industry and the Environment [Minister Melinda Pavey] – I think we should attempt to meet with her

  • Craig said the NP and WLS will not put up their hand for the Lodge site but that does not mean it will not be given to them.

Peter Clough   19th November 2021


Bedroom (could be six in each unit)
Entry to recreation room
Larger Unit
Recreation Room
Pictures of the opening day of the Admin Building in 1966                    Courtesy of Arthur Renforth
AR Lodge site 1966_edited.jpg
AR Admin Building openning 1966.jpg
AR Admin Brick building 1966.jpg
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