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South Newcastle Beach’s makeover begins

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Construction of a $12.6 million project that promises to reinvigorate South Newcastle Beach is now underway.

The project, which is an extension of the landmark Bathers Way Coastal Pathway, will reactivate the area with a kiosk, new amenities, accessible skate bowl, landscaping, shade and seating, exercise equipment and viewing areas.

It has been guided by the Bathers Way Community Reference Group.

One of the group’s members, Helen Cummings, says she is pleased to see the project moving forward.

“[South Newcastle Beach] has been tired, old and a little bit miserable for a while now but, to me, it’s the most beautiful place in the world,” she says.

“Now it’s going to attract people – the young, the old and everyone in between.”

She adds that, while some people are against the project, the majority of the community “will be behind it and supporting it along the way”.

Helen Cummings, Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen and Poppy Starr Olsen discussing the project.

Novocastrian and professional skate boarder, Poppy Starr Olsen, is excited about its potential.

“I have skated down here a fair few times and the skate park is really old but it’s got a lot of history,” she says.

“I know everyone loves it but it’s going to be so nice to have a new skate park and I think it will bring a lot of people down to the beach to hang out and surf and skate.

“I think everyone will love it, it’s in a great location.”  

The project is expected to take around two years to complete.

Community feedback in 2018 on the original concept plan prompted modifications to move the skate bowl within the existing promenade footprint, garnering majority support in further community engagement last year.

An artist impression of the South Newcastle Beach Bathers Way strip.

The NSW Government has contributed $5 million to the works through its Restart NSW program, specifically under its Resources for Regions Fund.

The overall Bathers Way project is a seven-stage capital works program spanning across six kilometres of coastline that began at Merewether in 2012.

It was followed by the completion of the Bar Beach, Dixon Park and Nobbys to Newcastle sections.

Newcastle Beach, King Edward Park and Memorial Drive are the final legs.

The coastal revitalisation project will better connect the East End with King Edward Park, where the most challenging section of the Bathers Way will soon be the subject of a concept and detail design process informed by engagement with the community.

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