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CoN releases revised vision for Harbour Foreshore

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at Foreshore Park with Cr John Mackenzie and Variety's Peter Harvey. Picture: Supplied

An expanded playspace and the creation of a ‘world-class’ harbourside esplanade, are high on the agenda for City of Newcastle’s (CoN) vision for Newcastle’s Harbour Foreshore.

CoN released its updated concept for the area this week, which includes increasing the size of the fenced, accessible and inclusive Variety Livvy’s Place playground, a significant waterplay space, a cultural heritage walk and improvements along Wharf Road and Tug Berth Lane.

Tree planting is also planned throughout the playspace and the concept plan proposes a formal tree grove, which will link two event spaces – The Grove and The Commons.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the revised concept, presented to the Harbour Foreshore Community Reference Group on Thursday, includes a number of key changes to the preliminary concept plan based on community consultation.

“This project is a great example of City of Newcastle working with our community to deliver its first regional-level recreational park and flexible open space that meets the needs and wants of those who will use Foreshore Park into the future,” Cr Nelmes said.

“In direct response to the community’s feedback, revisions to the concept for Foreshore Park include the relocation of the inclusive ‘Variety Livvi’s Place’ playspace and adjoining amenities, and provision for a multi-purpose rollerskating, scooting and performing arts area.

“We’ve also developed a concept plan to turn the Wharf Road Precinct into a world-class harbourside esplanade… by improving the Joy Cummings promenade, parklands, connecting pathways and cycling infrastructure, improving access to the area, and creating new opportunities for our community and visitors to make the most of the magnificent waterfront location.”

A key aspect of the concept design is the inclusive ‘Variety Livvi’s Place’ playspace andVariety – the Children’s Charity NSW/ACT Head of Inclusive Play, Kim Becherand, said spaces like this were fundamental in creating inclusive communities across Australia.

“At Variety we believe that all kids deserve to experience the joy and benefits of play. Working together with the kids, families and community of Newcastle we have created a bespoke playspace that pushes the boundaries of what an inclusive playspace can be,” she said.

“A space with endless opportunities to connect, explore and play, where difference doesn’t matter and everyone is included, valued and feels they belong.”

A draft Harbour Foreshore Masterplan will be placed on public exhibition for community feedback later in the year.

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