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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Marine Rescue to call Stockton home

After five years without a permanent home, Marine Rescue Newcastle may have found a long-term base on the Stockton foreshore.

The volunteer seafaring group is hoping its vessels will be moored permanently on a parcel of Crown Land, managed by the City of Newcastle.

The lease on the land is pending council approval next month.

Marine Rescue is then hoping to build a new command post a few metres from South Stockton boat ramp at an estimated cost of $1 million.

The new site would offer views to Nobbys to the south east, Dyke Point to the west and Walsh Point to the north.

The 700 square metre headquarters will be funded by the State Government and maintained by Marine Rescue Newcastle for the duration of its 21-year lease.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos said having a permanent home offered many benefits.

“Our members are thrilled that they will have a permanent new home right on the waterfront,” he said.

“This is very welcome news, coming just weeks after the delivery of the unit’s new $535,000 rescue vessel.

“The base will feature the latest marine radio communications technology and equipment.

“Having the unit’s new rescue vessel right in front of the base will also improve crews’ response times so they can be on the scene of an emergency even faster.”

Work being undertaken at Shepherds Hill Cottage, atop King Edward Park, in late 2018. Photo: Peter Stoop

Marine Rescue Newcastle has temporarily called Warabrook home after it was forced to relocate in 2015 when the April super storm caused extensive damage to the roof and interiors of Shepherds Hill Cottage.

The heritage-listed property has stood watch over the city from atop King Edward Park since the 1890s.

City of Newcastle states work on its restoration will be completed over the next few months ahead of an expression of interest process.

An internal fit out and the construction of new outdoor toilets, a storeroom, driveway and parking area will proceed following a $285,000 allocation in the 2020/21 City budget, pending Heritage approval.

The proposed new Marine Rescue base at Stockton will be considered by the elected council on Tuesday 25 August.

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