Community consultation begins for Tomaree Lodge site
The NSW Government has re-affirmed its commitment to retain the Tomaree Lodge site at Port Stephens for community use following a judgment in the Land and Environment Court of NSW.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said that community consultation, which will commence at the end of October, is vital to deciding the best future use of the site.
“The NSW Government recognises the importance of Tomaree Lodge to the Port Stephens community, and we are immediately looking to plan the future of the site with a focus on the needs of the local community,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
“From the end of October we will be consulting with the community and interested parties including Port Stephens Council, Worimi Aboriginal Land Council, and local community groups about how best to repurpose Tomaree Lodge for community use.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin is encouraging members of the community to have their say.
“The Port Stephens community is passionate about the future of Tomaree Lodge, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from the community about how this historic and iconic site can be repurposed,” Mr Martin said.
The site of the former large residential centre for people with disabilities was subject to a land claim by the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council.
A judgment handed down in the Land and Environment Court of NSW on Wednesday, 19 October ruled that the site be retained by the Minister.
The NSW Government remains committed to allowing locals to decide how Tomaree Lodge is best used for their community.
Community consultation will run for 60 days from the end of October. The community will be able to have their say using an online form on nsw.gov.au