Rathmines Park

This consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated. The project team are currently reviewing all feedback received and will report back soon.

Council is developing a Master Plan and Plan of Management for Rathmines Park to guide its future use and development.

The community shared their initial ideas and improvements for the Park during September and October 2019.

Many of these ideas have been captured in the Issues and Opportunities Paper and draft Concept Master Plans and include a range of improvements to access, interpretation, landscape / vegetation and those improvements already identified in existing developer contributions plans.

How to provide feedback on the draft Concept Master Plans

  1. Review the draft Concept Master Plans
  2. Read the summary consultation paper for a brief overview of the documents included in this round of consultation
  3. Read the Issues and Opportunities Paper for more detail on the proposed directions
  4. Attend a drop-in session or information session
  5. Complete the online survey or comment on the interactive map.

The image used on the information flyer is courtesy of John Sharples.

This consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated. The project team are currently reviewing all feedback received and will report back soon.

Council is developing a Master Plan and Plan of Management for Rathmines Park to guide its future use and development.

The community shared their initial ideas and improvements for the Park during September and October 2019.

Many of these ideas have been captured in the Issues and Opportunities Paper and draft Concept Master Plans and include a range of improvements to access, interpretation, landscape / vegetation and those improvements already identified in existing developer contributions plans.

How to provide feedback on the draft Concept Master Plans

  1. Review the draft Concept Master Plans
  2. Read the summary consultation paper for a brief overview of the documents included in this round of consultation
  3. Read the Issues and Opportunities Paper for more detail on the proposed directions
  4. Attend a drop-in session or information session
  5. Complete the online survey or comment on the interactive map.

The image used on the information flyer is courtesy of John Sharples.

  • Community feedback sought to help shape future of Rathmines Park

    28 days ago
    Dji 0197

    Major improvements and new features across the entire Rathmines Park precinct are central to draft Lake Macquarie City Council concept master plans for the site, now on public exhibition.

    The plans, available online at shape.lakemac.com.au/Rathmines-park, include the former RAAF seaplane base and its surviving buildings, as well as sports grounds, parkland, playgrounds and the lake foreshore.

    Recreation and Land Planning Coordinator Stephen Prince said Council was moving into its second phase of development for a Master Plan and Plan of Management for Rathmines Park.

    “Last year we engaged the community to find out how they used the park, and...

    Major improvements and new features across the entire Rathmines Park precinct are central to draft Lake Macquarie City Council concept master plans for the site, now on public exhibition.

    The plans, available online at shape.lakemac.com.au/Rathmines-park, include the former RAAF seaplane base and its surviving buildings, as well as sports grounds, parkland, playgrounds and the lake foreshore.

    Recreation and Land Planning Coordinator Stephen Prince said Council was moving into its second phase of development for a Master Plan and Plan of Management for Rathmines Park.

    “Last year we engaged the community to find out how they used the park, and to get their ideas about how we could improve the space into the future,” Mr Prince said.

    “The outcomes from those engagement activities, as well as recommendations from our Conservation Management Plan adopted last year, have been used to inform the draft Concept Master Plans for the park.

    “I encourage the community to view the accompanying Issues and Opportunities Paper, which outlines ideas within the draft Master Concept Plans.”

    The draft concept plans include improvements to recreation and sports facilities, improved access, new landscaping and vegetation and enhanced interpretation of the site’s military and Aboriginal history.

    An expanded youth hub would include a “substantially improved” skate/pump track and multipurpose court, with an opportunity to host food vans and an event stage.

    Improved play facilities for children would include an interactive play space celebrating the area’s military and Aboriginal history.

    A learn to ride track for young cyclists, outdoor fitness equipment and improved picnic facilities would be among the new features.

    The draft plans also include a number of larger, potentially more complex projects including reinstatement of overnight RV camping and a Catalina aircraft hangar.

    Mr Prince said the Concept Master Plans aimed to provide space for sporting, recreation and community group activities and events, while respecting, conserving and celebrating the site’s history and heritage.

    “We would love to hear from the community about what it thinks of these initial ideas. Your feedback will help inform our priorities in the draft Master Plan and Plan of Management,” Mr Prince said.

    Council will host two drop-in sessions on Thursday 5 March, with project staff on-site to provide further information and collect community feedback.

    The drop-in sessions will be at Rathmines shops at from 12-2pm and from 3-5pm at Rathmines Park.

    A community information session will follow, from 6-8pm at Catalina Conference Centre, Dorrington Rd. RSVPs for the session are essential.


  • New plans set to shape future of Rathmines Park

    about 1 month ago
    Children playing at rathmines park

    A Master Plan and Plan of Management for Rathmines Park will guide the future use and development of the site and its historically significant former RAAF seaplane base.

    Lake Macquarie City Council Recreation and Land Planning Coordinator Stephen Prince said a community engagement program would help gain a better understanding of the issues and opportunities for the waterfront site.

    “The Master Plan and Plan of Management will follow on from a Conservation Management Plan adopted by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage earlier this year,” Mr Prince said.

    “We now want to know how the community uses Rathmines Park,...

    A Master Plan and Plan of Management for Rathmines Park will guide the future use and development of the site and its historically significant former RAAF seaplane base.

    Lake Macquarie City Council Recreation and Land Planning Coordinator Stephen Prince said a community engagement program would help gain a better understanding of the issues and opportunities for the waterfront site.

    “The Master Plan and Plan of Management will follow on from a Conservation Management Plan adopted by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage earlier this year,” Mr Prince said.

    “We now want to know how the community uses Rathmines Park, and how they think it should be used and preserved into the future.”

    “Input we receive will help shape a vision that will enhance this important site’s heritage, community and recreational features.”

    Rathmines Park was once home to one of the most important RAAF seaplane bases on Australia’s east coast.

    Catalina long-range patrol bombers, along with other aircraft, flew from Rathmines during World War II, conducting coastal patrols in search of enemy raiders.

    The base closed in 1956, but many of its key features remain, including part of the north-east hangar, the former Sergeants Mess, the former Officers Mess and the base hospital.

    Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said parts of the site were listed on local and State heritage registers, reflecting their important role in Lake Macquarie’s history, and more specifically in the role the RAAF base played in development of the surrounding community.

    “Rathmines Park is regarded as the most intact seaplane base in Australia,” Cr Fraser said.

    “We want to ensure the master plan recognises and respects this important part of our nation’s military history, while continuing to provide opportunities for community use and recreation.”

    Feedback can be provided online at shape.lakemac.com.au/rathmines-park, where visitors can complete a short survey and provide comments via an interactive map.

    Council will also host pop-up information and feedback sessions at Rathmines shops from 7-9am on Thursday 26 September, and from noon-2pm at Rathmines Park on the same day.

    A community workshop at the Catalina Conference Centre will follow, from 6-8pm. RSVPs for the evening workshop are required.

    Consultation for the Master Plan and Plan of Management is open until Friday 11 October.


  • Draft plan outlines “exceptional” heritage value of former RAAF site

    over 1 year ago
    Shape lake mac image

    A former Catalina “flying boat” base in Lake Macquarie is a nationally significant site with “exceptional” historic value, according to a draft Lake Macquarie City Council Conservation Management Plan.

    Consultants Umwelt Australia were contracted by Council to assess the significance of Rathmines Park, which served as a RAAF seaplane base during World War II.

    Council acting Manager Community Planning Wes Hain said the resulting draft Conservation Management Plan was the first step in creating a future master plan for Rathmines Park.

    “Any future use of Rathmines Park must be mindful of the site’s heritage significance,” Mr Hain said.

    “The site...

    A former Catalina “flying boat” base in Lake Macquarie is a nationally significant site with “exceptional” historic value, according to a draft Lake Macquarie City Council Conservation Management Plan.

    Consultants Umwelt Australia were contracted by Council to assess the significance of Rathmines Park, which served as a RAAF seaplane base during World War II.

    Council acting Manager Community Planning Wes Hain said the resulting draft Conservation Management Plan was the first step in creating a future master plan for Rathmines Park.

    “Any future use of Rathmines Park must be mindful of the site’s heritage significance,” Mr Hain said.

    “The site has a fascinating and incredibly significant wartime history, which we wanted to fully understand before moving forward.

    “At its peak, this was Australia’s main seaplane base, responsible for launching airborne anti-submarine patrols right along the east coast.”

    The RAAF operated the base from the start of WWII in 1939 until 1961, with Catalinas and other aircraft moored just offshore.

    Others were hauled onto dry land for maintenance inside the site’s giant hangar.

    Mr Hain said Council and Umwelt had undertaken a number of stakeholder workshops and site visits over the past six months to document the history of the site.

    An assessment of heritage significance within the draft Conservation Management Plan concluded the base overall has historical significance on a national level, being “strongly representative” of Australia’s defence force activities during WWII.

    Rathmines was viewed as a “critical representative example” of a WWII flying boat base and the scale of the surviving elements made it an important benchmark for such sites.

    According to the draft Conservation Management Plan, 230 buildings were erected throughout the life of the base.

    Only 10 remain today.

    Part of the former hangar still survives and is now owned by the Christadelphian Bible School, while Council owns other buildings used for various purposes including a bowling club, scout hall, workshop, music centre and storage sheds.

    The site is also home to a RAAF Catalina memorial, opened in 1972 in dedication to all who served at the base.

    “Council will continue to ensure that any future community or commercial use does not negatively affect the interpretation or appreciation of this picturesque historical site,” Mr Hain said.

    “Now is the opportunity for the community to assist in providing copies of historic photos and documents associated with the former RAAF base.

    “Planning issues will be addressed through the preparation of a draft master plan and plan of management during this financial year.”

    The draft Conservation Management Plan is on public exhibition at shape.lakemac.nsw.gov.au/rathmines-park until Friday 24 August.

    Copies of the draft plan are also available at Council’s administration building and at Speers Point, Morisset, Wangi Wangi and Toronto Libraries.