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Tomaree lodge update


  • Office of Gareth Ward Minister for Families Community and Disability Services- Tomaree Headland Heritage Group meetings indicate current Tomaree Lodge occupancy (2 persons) and provided feedback on the process for public ownership 

    • there is currently an aboriginal land claim on the site which is at appeal and may take some time to resolve(potentially years)

    • no site infrastructure or temporary use or site visits will be allowed until a decision is made by NSW Government on future use and ownership of the site

Re: Shoal Bay Infrastructure responses to SBCA letter sent to the Mayor


Thank you for your letter dated 21 August 2020 regarding Shoal Bay Infrastructure, please see below responses to each of your points in blue.



  • Congratulations on the SB Holiday Park pedestrian crossing which has been upgraded with Federal Black Spot funding. The lack of the missing link pathway from Beach Road to Shoal Bay is a safety concern and hopefully it will not become a black spot project after a major incident.


The requested pathway link is programmed to be partially delivered in the current financial years. Upgrading of a portion of the existing foreshore pathway is proposed with an extension to the existing dingy racks. The missing link remains identified within Council's Pathways Plan for consideration when funding becomes available in the future. More specific time frames for the current project delivery is available at 2021/shoal-bay-foreshore .


  • Shoal Bay foreshore upgrade, with general agreement over the proposed Master Plan. Funding was available for this project last year and was proposed to have been completed by June 2020. Your obtaining Federal Government funding adding another $180,000 to enhance the upgrade has been appreciated, when is this project likely to occur?


The Shoal Bay Foreshore Upgrade works are planned for delivery after Easter 2021.


  • The foreshore amenities block upgrade. Whilst Port Stephens Council is aware of the urgency of the upgrade to cater for the vast increase in year-round visitors to Shoal Bay, the community is concerned over the size of Councils’ proposed facility. I have attached a photo taken in the early 1960s showing the still current ablutions block to cater for the then residents and visitors. The new ablution block should be designed to cater in ratio for the current of residents and visitors.


The current design for the amenities replacement includes 4 unisex toilets. The split of toilets is 1 fully disabled and access compliant, 1 ambulant compliant and 2 standard cubicles. Council also provides public amenities at the Shoal Bay Boat ramp (2 female, 1 male and 1 urinal). Council is also advocating for a new public amenities to be provided by NPWS at the Mount Tomaree trail head as part of the planned Tomaree Coastal Walk. Council considers the provision of public amenities along the Shoal Bay foreshore as adequate.


  • The car parking opposite Harbourside Haven was discussed with yourself and John Maretich and a solution was agreed on. Only part of this was actioned (painting white parking bays on the southern side of the road), however all the agreed solutions have not been acted on thereby causing the continuing damage to the flora of Anzac Park especially the treeroots.


Agree that these works need to be undertaken. Unfortunately with many worthy community projects and funds/grants allocated to other specific projects, this project is low on Council’s priorities. I am open to ideas to seek funds to make this project happen.


  • Stage 1 of the Tomaree Road upgrade to Verona Road we understand is due for completion shortly. Stage 2 to Messines Street, that funding was available two years ago, is still awaiting completion. This is the major bus route through Shoal Bay with no pedestrian pathway or cycle access, which is used by elderly residents, those with mobility impairment and children both walking and biking to the Primary School and to Shoal Bayshops.


Changes in funding have resulted in this next stage of Tomaree Road being delayed. We are still aware of the want and need for a path and the irregular state of the current road pavement surface. Alternate sources of funding are being investigated to expedite this. We agree these works need to be undertaken.


  • Shoal Bay foreshore erosion is still a major problem. However a mitigation plan to prevent the collapse of the pathways should be undertaken urgently to prevent greater future costs given the collapse at FlyPoint.


Council recognises the coastal erosion issues within the Shoal Bay area. These are actively being addressed through Council’s sand back passing works from west to east. Council is also working with the NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment to develop an LGA wide Coastal Management Program. This CMP will assess and identify coastal hazards across Port Stephens, establish the levels of risk, priority and management actions to be employed into the future. Shoal Bay is one of the areas that staff have drawn particular attention to.


  • Lot 98-89 Ronald Avenue is still an eyesore with vandals now having broken most of the windows and graffitied the walls. On 16 July 2019 we wrote to the General Manager asking Council to take action, however apart from having the fencing removed from the road and reinstalled nothing has happened. There is still no fencing on the rear of the property, the old property fence having been partly pulled down giving access to all and sundry. This is a residential street and eyesores such as this should not be allowed to continue.


The rear of the property is adjacent to National Park and it would only be frontage facing the road that Council would typically require to be fenced during construction. In this particular case vandalism is police matter of which Council have no powers or jurisdiction over.


  • Shoal Bay bus shelter was funded 2 years ago and summer is once againcoming.


The Shoal Bay Road bus shelter has been designed and ready to order and construct, however with COVID restrictions affecting both Council and suppliers, this project was put on hold for the time being.


  • We were informed two years ago by Greg Kable that steps had been constructed for each side of the wharf access point and were sitting in the workshop. With no steps kids continue to jump off the wharf and clamber up the sand bank, causing excessive erosion.


The issues relating to erosion via foot traffic immediately adjoining the wharf have been raised. The stairs referred to were for the area near to the dinghy rack at the western end of the foreshore reserve. As part of the planned foreshore works, Council will investigate the need for stairs in this location or whether a management solution vis sand back passing and vegetation can assist.


  • One issue specifically refers to the small flight of concrete steps from Bullecourt Street to the IGA, Newsagent, etc, which was not designed for public access. The construction of many more flats and parking spaces in Bullecourt has seen it become a major public access to the shops. Whilst understanding this is not Council property Council should ensure public safety. An upgrade with good design (not steep), adequate safety rails, and non-slip surfaces etc may prevent future accidents.


Unfortunately if the stairs are not public property or part of a current development, Council does not have any legal power or role in preventing access to them or making them safe.


  • Concern over the potential of two storey structures and a swimming pool in the Shoal Bay Holiday Park is of major concern to many residents. Can you please update us on these issues.


Draft Plans of Management have been developed for Shoal Bay Holiday Park and public exhibition was held in August 2019, however due to the current Crown Land process we are unable to proceed any further with the Plans of Management. Our initial application was rejected by Crown Land on the basis that they now require all parcels of crown land under our management to be categorised and submitted in one application (approx 175 lots). This application has been lodged on behalf of Port Stephens Council with Crown and is waiting to be assessed. We require Crown Lands approval to this application before the new Plans of Management (POM) can be approved by the Minister and the Crown Land Manager (Council).


A range of improvement opportunities were identified in the Draft Plans of Management including replacing the tennis court area with a swimming pool/recreation area and to explore the option of raised or stilted cabins. These recommendations will undergo further investigation if Council choose to implement. The POM identifies potential future development opportunities in accordance with the strategic directions and guiding principles. The implementation of any improvements aim to facilitate operational improvement in a manner which best suits Park management, future guests and adds value and safeguards to the Parks ongoing financial sustainability as a source of non-rate revenue to Port Stephens Council.

Have your say NSW NP.jpg



Opportunity to comment on the Tomaree Coastal Walk draft Master Plan and draft Review of Environmental Factors until 20 October 2020.

Public consultation on the Tomaree draft master plan and draft Review of Environmental Factors (environmental assessment) provides an important opportunity for the community to have a say on the proposed visitor facility improvements for Tomaree National Park.


The draft master plan and draft Review of Environmental Factors (environmental assessment) are on exhibition together to provide people with a clearer understanding of the project and the information necessary to enable stakeholder feedback. 


View the draft plans at and the draft master plan video at:.   (If it does not open cut and paste into your browser)


If you would like the Shoal Bay Community Association to arrange a special presentation please email your details to

What is being proposed?


The Tomaree Coastal Walk draft master plan provides a framework and conceptual designs for the delivery of the 20-kilometre Tomaree Coastal Walk connecting Tomaree Head to Birubi Point, and future visitor experience improvements in Tomaree National Park at Port Stephens.


The draft master plan was prepared by contractors Turf Design in collaboration with National Parks and Wildlife Service, and has been informed by extensive geotechnical, engineering, environmental and cultural assessments, and community feedback received on the plan of management amendment and Draft Tomaree Coastal Walk Strategy. The draft master plan supersedes the draft Tomaree Coastal Walk Strategy.


The plan balances conserving Tomaree National Park’s natural and cultural values with future visitation demands, by creating experiences to better manage visitation in the park throughout the year.


The Tomaree Coastal Walk will cater for a range of immersive, nature-based visitor experiences from short walks to half day and overnight options rich in Worimi culture, historic heritage and natural wonders, providing opportunities for tourism partnerships.


Tomaree Coastal Walk draft master plan provides:


An overview and conceptual designs for the $6.7 million Tomaree Coastal Walk project with maps of the indicative 20-kilometre walking track route connecting Tomaree Head to Birubi Point.


Proposals for supporting initiatives and facility upgrades to enhance the experience, improve visitor management and meet future visitation demands. This includes proposed upgrades, concept designs and artist impressions for:

  • Tomaree Head Precinct

  • Box Beach Precinct

  • Big Rocky Precinct

  • Iris Moore Precinct

Improvements may include new and upgraded walking tracks, viewing platforms, parking, interpretation, amenities and other visitor facilities.


The priority for delivery is the 20-kilometre Tomaree Coastal Walk connecting Tomaree Head to Birubi Point with associated facilities. Further detailed costing, feasibility, assessments and evaluations will determine what will be constructed as part of the $6.74 million Tomaree Coastal Walk funding.


While not all improvements proposed in the draft master plan can be delivered as part of the Tomaree Coastal Walk project funding, the draft plan provides long-term visitor facility planning for the park, should further funding become available.


Review of Environmental Factors

A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) is accompanying the draft master plan on public exhibition. The Review of Environmental Factors is an environmental assessment under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. It examines the significance of likely environmental impacts of the proposal and the measures required to mitigate adverse impacts.

Review of Environmental Factors assist the determining authority to decide whether an activity should be approved and assists in the development of appropriate conditions should approval be given.


View the draft plans  

The draft master plan and Review of Environmental Factors are available until 20 October 2020 at the following locations:

Book an information session

We are hosting COVID safe information sessions on Saturday 10 October 2020 to provide an opportunity for people to discuss the draft plans with the project team. Bookings are essential. Call the Nelson Bay office during business hours on 02 4984 8200.


Comment on the draft plans

People are invited to submit their comments in writing by 20 October 2020 in the following ways:

While all submissions count, they are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for the precinct. Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:

  • Write clearly and be specific about the issues of concern to you.

  • Note which page of the document your comments relate to.

  • Give reasoning in support of your points - makes it easier for us to consider your ideas and helps avoid misinterpretation.

  • Tell us specifically what you agree/disagree with and why.


The draft plans will be finalised once community and stakeholder feedback has been considered.



Next steps...


  • Public consultation on the draft plans closes 20 October 2020


  • Following consideration of community and stakeholder feedback NPWS will finalise the draft plans. The master plan may be adjusted to meet issues raised during the exhibition, environmental and cultural assessment outcomes and local design issues, and still must meet the requirements of the Tomaree Plan of Management and amendment.


  • The next stage of the project is detailed design and assessment for the construction of the $6.7 million Tomaree Coastal Walk connecting Tomaree Head with Birubi Point. The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service will deliver the project in stages with construction expected to commence in 2021.


​Enquiries for the project team can be directed to: NPWS Hunter Coast Area

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