NEWCASTLE’S iconic Bogey Hole is set to reopen on Wednesday after more than a year of closure.
The Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, will announce the reopening at a ceremony at the Bogey Hole at 10.30am on Wednesday morning.
“It’s an iconic spot for the people of Newcastle and the Hunter and it’s great that people will once again be able to enjoy this section of our wonderful coast,” Mr MacDonald said.
Mr MacDonald, a Liberal Party member of the state upper house, said the Bogey Hole had been closed since November last year because of the threat of rock falls. The first stage of a $490,000 rock-bolting project had been completed, and the area was again safe for the public.
But there was more work to do, Mr MacDonald said.
The Bogey Hole contract was announced in September by Lands and Water Minister Niall Blair. Hunter firm Ground Stabilisation Systems was to stabilise the cliff with a series of 15 rock bolts, each up to seven metres in length, and install a length of “rock catch” fencing to lessen the risk of rocks falling from above.
The company’s managing director, Peter Dark, said at the time that his company usually worked in the mining and construction sectors, and was proud to be working on such a “high-profile local project”.
The future of the Bogey Hole has been a bone of contention between Mr MacDonald and the Labor state Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp, who has repeatedly criticised the Baird government over the length of the closure, as well as the state of the former Newcastle bowling club site on the edge of King Edward Park.
Mr Crakanthorp said on Tuesday that the reopening of the Bogey Hole was “a great victory for the people of Newcastle”.
“I’ve been happy to champion this issue, and there have been more than 6000 people signing a petition letting the government know about their concern over this iconic attraction,” Mr Crakanthorp said.
The Bogey Hole was closed in 2003 over rock falls and again in 2014 after damage by heavy swells.