Shoal Bay to get major makeover

SHOAL Bay could rival Nelson Bay for the capital of the Tomaree peninsula when a raft of scheduled improvements are complete, mayor Bruce MacKenzie believes.

Cr MacKenzie said a $2.8million revamp for the coastal hamlet could make it the highlight of the Port Stephens coast.

‘‘It probably has the most potential of any waterfront in Port Stephens at the moment,’’ he said.

‘‘When it’s done it will rival anywhere in the world.’’

The council’s planned works are expected to radically remodel the foreshore’s infrastructure, with a business model for the improvements labelling the area a ‘‘regional playground’’ for Hunter holiday-makers.

‘‘The Shoal Bay Village represents an opportunity to establish a destination that is pedestrian and family friendly with a mixture of uses and activities all year round,’’ the document said.

Headlining the list of projects scheduled in the plan is replacing the condemned Shoal Bay Wharf.

The structure has been closed to the public since 2011 for safety reasons, and is earmarked for a replacement worth an estimated $713,000.

A boat ramp finished in December last year is among the completed works, with a nearby carpark under construction.

Further plans for the area include new paths and cycleways, pedestrian crossings and renovated waterfront barbecues as well as anti-erosion measures.

Cr MacKenzie said his previous tenure as mayor in 2008 had included a focus on similar works on Nelson Bay’s coastline.

‘‘We can’t have a tourist area like Shoal Bay where you think you might be in the wrong place,’’ Cr MacKenzie said.

 REVAMP: Mayor Bruce Mackenzie and deputy Sally Dover at Shoal Bay yesterday.

REVAMP: Mayor Bruce Mackenzie and deputy Sally Dover at Shoal Bay yesterday.