The Nelson Bay CBD will benefit from stronger ties to Apex Park, to host markets and concerts, boosted with a $300,000 commitment from the state government.
The funds underpin a Port Stephens Council master plan to improve the pathways in Apex Park and to create tiered seating down the slope.
“Here in Apex Park we’ve always had this divide with Victoria Parade, separating the town centre from the foreshore,” mayor Ryan Palmer said.
“[But] the works here in apex park will hopefully bring the CBD and the foreshore closer together.”
Cr Palmer said concerts and markets are among the possibilities for the park.
“The path that connects the CBD and foreshore will be widened so it can host markets along it on weekends
“We want it to be one precinct so that businesses can have patronage throughout the week and 365 days a year. It’s all about creating connections and the Yaacaba street extension is an example of that.”
The project is part of a $1 million suite of works Port Stephens Duty MLC Catherine Cusack announced on Friday, as part of the latest round of Stronger Country Communities funding. Robinson Reserve at Anna Bay will also undergo a recreational transformation under a grant worth $700,000.
“The more the park is connected with the CBD the better the whole precinct becomes,” Ms Cusack said.
“It’s working toward bringing more people to Nelson Bay year round, not just at peak season.”
Meanwhile the new recreational precinct at Robinson Reserve at Anna Bay will help it attract visitors from further afield.
This will include a new “district scale” playground, skate park, Aboriginal Place interpretative signage, BBQ facilities, accessible amenities block and native landscaping, as the council had planed in the Birubi Point Master Plan.
“This is fantastic news for Port Stephens,” Ms Cusack said.
“Stronger Country Communities funding is an investment aimed at improving the lives of residents and enhancing the attractiveness of our region.”
Ms Cusack also announced $60,000 for a bin at Boomerang Park which provides Wi-Fi to youths who do the right thing by placing litter in the provided bin. The funds come under the Environment Protection Authority’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.
“This is such an innovative idea, and I congratulate Port Stephens Council for securing this funding,” Ms Cusack said.
“Through the Litter Prevention grants, the Berejiklian Government is working to tackle litter at a local level by supporting councils to run programs that assist with litter clean-ups, and community education.
“We all know what it means to do the right thing when it comes litter but these grants will help ensure that we put that awareness into action.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the government is committed to supporting regional communities and their crucial infrastructure.
“The Stronger Country Communities fund is a once-in-a-generation investment and it will provide regional towns with the infrastructure they deserve,” Mr Barilaro said.
The Stronger Country Communities fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to improve economic growth and productivity with investment in regional communities.
Applications for Round Two of SCCF is now open and further details can be found here: www.nsw.gov.au/strongercountrycommunities