MW07 (Mambo Wetlands) and MWO8 (HMS Beagle) - From parking in front of Bob Cairn Reserve turn left back onto Foreshore Drive in direction of Corlette/Nelson Bay. Continue along Foreshore Drive for approx. 800m until you reach Joe Redman Reserve on your left on waterfront side of road. There is adequate parking off road edge.
Located in Joe Redman Reserve on Foreshore Drive, this sign is adjacent to the shoreline and supports work done by Mambo Wetlands Group. It reflects the principal objectives of the Group and highlights the value of the Wetlands in terms of it nursery for many forms of marine life and of course a haven for the numerous wading birds that frequent the shores.
Land set aside for the proposed Naval Base remained under management control of the Federal Government after the Naval Base Works were discontinued in 1922. Many squatter families settled along the shores and a number of leases came into being where holiday camps, houses and some semi-permanent structures were established.
The controlled land was eventually sold to Port Stephens Council in January 1955. Following that and during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Port Stephens Council was in dire need of industrial development, firstly to create employment opportunities and above all, to increase its own taxpayer base. Offers of low-cost land and Government support were made by the Council to the steel and aluminium industries, to set up along that foreshore and to attract users of the deep-water facilities for shipping within the port. These proposals came to nothing due largely to the lack of transport infrastructure and probably due to the impending higher standards for environmental protection.
Pressures too from the local Worimi Aboriginal Land Council to respect their lands and perceived poor past management practices lead to the establishment of Landcare groups and volunteer working parties. The efforts of these bodies swung the argument, to take greater notice of these assets and protect them from further destruction.
Today, the formalisation of the Mambo and other nearby Wetlands areas have succeeded in gaining consideration from all the parties involved to enhance this level of protection. In the case of the Mambo Wetlands, the combined resources of the Soldiers Point-Salamander Tidy Towns Group and with support from Council, the public can now expect and realise that this area of former of un-kept foreshore is being protected and maintained.
What To Know More?
The above information and research has been undertaken by the Port Stephens Historical Society.