Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nobbys Must Stand Free

Fellow Citizens of Newcastle,

Nobbys Lighthouse should stand free as a lighthouse and a beacon to all. We don't need to sell off the Nobbys headland to open it to the public.

The wretched gate stopping public access to Nobbys Headland must be removed forthwith.

Click the link for a copy of the submission we made to the developer who would destroy Nobbys Lighthouse (re the Controlled Action Nobbys Lighthouse 20th July 2007).

Also read a copy of the National Nomination of the Coal River Heritage Park prepared by the University’s Coal River Working Party under the leadership of Dr. Erik Eklund.

This matter will not be finished until Newcastle has National recognition of the World Heritage value of this iconic Nobbys site within the whole Coal River Heritage Park which includes the entire public foreshore through to the ocean featuring a heritage continuum from Aboriginal and Convict to Colonial and modern times.

What we are seeing is a targeted action through the property development lobby that have the NSW Labor Party in their pocket.

They are a well entrenched vested interest cluster in Newcastle that is taking over Nobbys and other public ocean front sites at Newcastle at Fort Scratchley (Succeeded) Newcastle Baths, The Newcastle Bowling Club (In the process) and at the Merewether Surf Pavilion. Also at the headland at Catherine Hill Bay in Lake Macquarie

Given the representatives we have we may not be able to prevent the excesses of crass privatisation of our public foreshores at these other places but at Nobbys commercial interests are not content to take over the use of the Macquarie Pier for access to their development at Nobbys they have already scarred the Nobbys headland with a widened road way and turning area without development consent. They intend leasing most of Nobbys and the adjacent turning area and build another house on the headland for their manager, gut and extend the existing buildings for 8 motel styled units.

The last straw in all this is the proposal to swallow the 150 year old Lighthouse in a surrounding restaurant and takeaway and kitchen that destroys the lighthouse as a lighthouse that removes the view from Nobbys except for patrons inside the restaurant.

The public would be relegated to a stairway onto the roof of the restaurant at the pleasure of the owner. The public would not be able to have access in front of the lighthouse or restaurant. Nor would the public be allowed free access to see the operating lighthouse which is a unique heritage item and one of the earliest navigational aids on the Australian coast.

You are seeing ugly hand of blatant privatisation of Nobbys which could ultimately be sold off if the NSW Government continues in its current public asset sell off trend.

Please spread the word. I ask that all concerned citizens write to Prime Minister Mr Kevin Rudd and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts Mr Peter Garrett and ask that the Nobbys Lighthouse be saved from the impact of this development and that Nobbys be transferred to the National Parks Service.

They are the current legal issues that must be addressed but Novocastrians will also have a view on the Privatisation of Nobbys and the over building on this iconic site.

The breathtaking vista of our beautiful Newcastle from the summit of Nobbys is for all, not for the few who can afford it.

Doug Lithgow
Freeman of the City of Newcastle

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