Newcastle's Queen's Wharf Tower off to the scrap heap after demolition

Queen’s Wharf Tower is destined for the scrap heap after Newcastle City Council failed to find a new home for the landmark structure.

The council has lodged a development application to demolish the 40-metre tower, most likely before November, after councillors voted last year to bring it down.

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said in March that several parties, including a group in Western Australia, had shown interest in buying the tower. 

The council also received a proposal to turn it into an artificial dive reef.

But these inquiries have come to nought and the tower will be broken into four parts and taken away for scrap. The development application says the work will be done over four days, possibly at night.

The council says the tower would have cost ratepayers $1.6 million in maintenance over the next four years. The demolition will cost an estimated $300,000.

The phallus-shaped tower, built in 1988, was described as an embarrassment to the city by council chief executive officer Jeremy Bath last year.

“The tower is no longer the attraction it once was and has reached the end of its useful life,” a statement of environmental effects lodged with the development application says. 

“The tower has become a safety hazard and is not accessible for everyone in the community and is not an appropriate reminder of the queen’s visit to Newcastle as part of the 1988 bicentennial celebrations.”

It says removing the tower will “accentuate the view corridor between Queen’s Wharf and Newcastle harbour and the Christ Church Cathedral”.