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Future vision for historic site

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Rathmines Park was once home to one of the most important RAAF seaplane bases on Australia’s east coast.

Catalina long-range patrol bombers, along with other aircraft, flew from Rathmines during World War II, conducting coastal patrols in search of enemy raiders.

The base closed in 1956, but many of its key features remain, including part of the north-east hangar, the former Sergeants Mess, Officers Mess and the base hospital.

A community engagement program will now help Lake Macquarie council gain a better understanding of the issues and opportunities for the waterfront site. 

In August 2018, a draft conservation management plan outlined its exceptional heritage value, before the final version was approved by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage earlier this year.

The council’s subsequent master plan and plan of management aim to shape Rathmines Park’s future vision.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said parts of the site were listed on local and state heritage registers, which reflected their important role in Lake Macquarie’s history.

“Rathmines Park is regarded as the most intact seaplane base in Australia,” Cr Fraser said.

“We want to ensure the master plan recognises and respects this important part of our nation’s military history, while continuing to provide opportunities for community use and recreation.”

The council will host pop-up information and feedback sessions on Thursday 26 September (today) at Rathmines shops from 7am to 9am and from 12pm to 2pm at Rathmines Park.

A community workshop at the Catalina Conference Centre will follow from 6pm to 8pm.

You can also visit shape.lakemac.com.au/rathmines-park to provide feedback, which includes a short survey and comments via an interactive map.

Feedback is open until Friday 11 October.

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