Why build the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Track?

    The project will fill in a ‘missing link’ for cyclists and pedestrians, creating a continuous 27km route from Murrays Beach to Adamstown. Currently, there is no continuous shared pathway from Belmont to Blacksmiths. Its completion will promote active transport use and active lifestyles, and will increase Lake Macquarie’s potential for cycling tourism.

    How much will it cost?

    The total project cost is estimated at approximately $12 million, including $7.5 million contributed by the NSW Government through Round Two of its Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund. Council will contribute the remaining funds through its ongoing capital works program.

    The cost includes planning, design and construction of 3.5km of fully sealed, accessible path, accessible amenities, interpretive signage, public art installations, a boardwalk section over Belmont Wetlands and various other elements.

    How long will construction take?

    Until detailed design is complete and a contractor is engaged to undertake the works, it is difficult to provide an accurate timeline. Environmental considerations and development approval waiting times can significantly influence the estimated completion date. Further details will be provided on Council’s website once available.

    Where will there be access points?

    Detailed design and community consultation will help determine the location of track access points. Likely locations include:

    • Railway Parade

    • Alick Street

    • Ocean Park Road

    • Pacific Highway

    • Awabakal Avenue

    Other locations are possible, but these are likely to be among the main access points.

    Why can’t the track be built further east over the lagoon, away from homes on Andra Close and Brandt Close?

    Existing open space behind these streets provides an opportunity to build this section of track at a significantly lower cost than extending the boardwalk already proposed further north. It will also have significantly less environmental impact.

    The northern boardwalk in the current proposed route will maximise viewing opportunities across Belmont Lagoon.

    What about increased noise and crime along the track?

    Council will assess any potential increase in noise and/or crime via a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design assessment. This will be part of the approvals process, with project approval only possible after Council has satisfactorily considered all potential impacts and designed for these accordingly.

    What is happening with the track at the southern end of Green Street?

    Council is in discussions with Belmont Golf Club regarding the exact track route from the southern end of Green Street to the Pacific Highway. Updates will be provided on Council’s website once a route is finalised.