Fun and fitness for Camp Shortland

07 Jan 2018

A children's bike track and outdoor gym equipment have been nominated as the preferred options for the restoration of Camp Shortland following Newcastle's annual Supercars event.

Around two-thirds of 334 survey respondents preferred not to returf part of the Newcastle 500 track that runs through the costal park, with 149 instead giving the thumbs up to a children's bike track.

An outdoor gym finished a close second with 147 nods, while 125 people leant towards a children's play area and 118 supported planter boxes, seating and shade.

"The community has spoken on Camp Shortland and I have to say I'm excited by their preferred options for great recreational activities," Newcastle City Council CEO Jeremy Bath said.

"We will now follow due process to activate this long-dormant space by submitting a proposal to the Office of Environment and Heritage for assessment before finalising a project plan that incorporates all the elements to some extent."

"Heritage interpretation elements through signage will be a key component of the project to relate stories from the history of the Coal River precinct."

Grassing over the eastern hairpin arm was preferred by 38 per cent of survey respondents but would deny access to the park each summer as newly laid turf knitted and grew.

Ninety-four respondents to the survey nominated sporting areas as their choice and 66 others nominated 101 other suggestions.

Camp Shortland lies within the Coal River Precinct listed on the State Heritage Register and is regulated by of The Office of Environment and Heritage.

The final activation option will be removable to allow for other events such as Supercars, ANZAC Commemorations, concerts, triathlons and fun runs.

The Foreshore has been significantly improved as a result of the Newcastle 500.

Improvements include better roads, 84 additional car park spaces, creation of a dedicated bus drop-off area on Nobbys Rd and the removal of a pedestrian/cycling bottleneck connecting the Bathers Way with Joy Cummings Promenade.

Car parks were also levelled to improve access for people using wheelchairs.

Council will soon undertake scheduled tree plantings across the Foreshore, including in Camp Shortland.

Norfolk Island pines and broad-leaved lilly pillies will form the bulk of the replacement plantings but also included in the mix are coastal banksias, native hibiscuses and kentia palms.

Once fully grown, the trees will provide about 9800sqm of usable shade - 20 times more than what was available prior to work commencing.

To see the full survey report, click here