Update on the proposed Tomaree National Park Coastal Walk
Review of Environmental Factors
A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) is currently being prepared for the Tomaree Coastal Walk project, in accordance with the National Parks and Wildlife Act.1974, and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.1979.
As part of this, independent contractors have been engaged to conduct detailed environmental impact assessments of the project area, with particular focus on Aboriginal cultural heritage, historic heritage, the Tomaree Headland and the proposed walking track corridor.
The REF will examine the significance of likely impacts and identifies measures required to mitigate adverse impacts to the environment, cultural heritage and historic heritage. The REF will guide the preparation of the Tomaree Coastal Walk Master Plan and people will have an opportunity to review the REF along with the master plan in mid-2020.
Preparing the Tomaree Coastal Walk Master Plan
NPWS has engaged landscape architects Turf Design Studio to prepare the Tomaree Coastal Walk Master Plan, with cultural, historic and environmental conservation being a key consideration in developing the plan.
There are many pieces of the puzzle that need to be brought together to achieve the best outcomes for the park and community. These include the Review of Environmental Factors, the Tomaree National Park Plan of Management and community feedback received on the Draft Tomaree Coastal Walk Strategy.
The master plan is a non-statutory document that will provide conceptual plans for the Tomaree Coastal Walk. It enables the community to see the types of improvements that are proposed as part of the project, such as upgraded walking tracks and new an improved visitor facilities. The master plan will consider what is important about Tomaree National Park, what improvements are being proposed and how the park's character will be conserved and improved into the future.
There is still much work to be done to bring the plan together, however we are aiming to place the draft master plan along with the REF on exhibition for public review and comment in mid-2020. As part of the exhibition, NPWS will also host drop-in information sessions in the Port Stephens area to provide people with an opportunity to discuss the draft plan with NPWS staff.
People will be advised of the exhibition date by email and local media. Anyone who has not yet registered their interest or contact details can do so via the project webpage at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/tomareecoastalwalk
Interpretation Strategy - connecting and sharing stories to create memorable experiences
Interpretation is a key focus for the Tomaree Coastal Walk project and NPWS has engaged Trigger to prepare an Interpretation Strategy for the walk.
The strategy aims to deliver rich and engaging interpretation to immerse visitors in the landscape, promote the park's natural, historical and cultural values, and create memorable experiences for visitors.
The opportunity to develop the interpretation strategy concurrently with the master plan and REF ensures that the interpretation is embedded in the walk's design. It is expected that the interpretation will come in all forms including, digital innovations and programs and the tried and tested mediums such as park signs, information panels and wayfinding.
Last week Trigger met with Worimi community representatives as well as the Tomaree Coastal Walk Reference Group, to discuss the preparation of the interpretation strategy and start an ongoing dialogue with the community about interpretation for the walk.
Have Your Say
What Trigger would like from you:
– Our focus is on developing engaging stories to establish the Tomaree Coastal Walk as an exemplar walking experience across the full 20-kilometre coastal walk from Tomaree Head to Birubi Point in Tomaree National Park.
– We are currently gathering stories for the trail interpretation. The final interpretation will be implemented across a number of different formats and platforms, so we are open to exploring a range of stories and resources including images, sounds, objects and personal recollections.
– Please share with us anything you think is important about the trail and surrounds, for example what would you show or tell an overseas visitor? This might be a feature such as a plant, vista, or a historical or current story such as “this happened here”
– Please tell us about any special locations along the overall trail and stories attached to those locations. If relevant please mark on the map, where your information relates to, with a number. Record your story in word file format, aligned to the number you noted on the map. Note we listed some site names on the map to assist, but stories can be located anywhere along the walking track.
– Sources of further information. Your group represents a wide range of people with detailed knowledge of the trail so we would like to know any sources of further information where possible. These might be historical records, images or facts and figures, please provide us with these details where relevant. If you have any material to support your stories and can provide it by 20 March 2020.