Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Transport Interchange
|Expected start month||Expected completion month||Status||Budget||Contribution|
|July 2023||April 2024||In progress||$1.3m|
The development of a new visitor interchange was identified as part of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Management Plan. Since this time, Council in partnership with key stakeholders, had worked to source funding for the construction of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Transport Interchange.
The design of the facility includes a centralized tour coach parking area and tourism operator interchange, short-term car parking for visitors participating in tours along with improved visitor services including toilet facilities, all-weather protection and multilingual signage and interpretation of the important cultural landscape.
Council finalised the design for the facility in 2021 and expected to commence work in late 2021. As part of these plans, Council was required to manage the removal of a large amount of sand from the site to enable the building. Since this time, rather than moving the sand off-site, Council has been working with neighbouring landowners including the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council to investigate options of retaining the sand onsite.
The plan for this sand is to move it and use it to build a boundary buffer (i.e. vegetated dune system) that will help to protect the interchange site and reduce maintenance issues over time. Retaining the sand onsite also maintains the cultural integrity of the site and minimizes the likelihood of cultural items and occupational evidence being impacted (i.e. not having disturbed artefacts involuntarily sent offsite).
Council has utilised the services of a Royal Haskoning DHV to revise the existing Sand Management Plan and we are now working through the approval process and an amendment to the DA.
Working through this sand management process has impacted our project delivery schedule. We anticipate the completion of the facility in mid-2024 (subject to contractor availability and weather).
Development of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Interchange includes:
- construction of the centre
- car parking area
The proposed project at Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Transport Interchange involves:
- a centralised tourist coach parking and tourism operator interchange
- redesign of small vehicle parking spaces at Birubi Point Headland
- areas for cultural heritage interpretation.
The purpose of the proposed investment
Parking: The transport interchange will remove large coaches and smaller tour buses from the main headland area. It's estimated that 10 coaches arrive at the existing location daily. Removal of the coaches from Birubi Point will have a positive impact on the site allowing more private vehicle parking and reduce gridlock caused by coaches dropping off and picking up tour participants.
Reduction in damage to areas of cultural significance: Removing coaches from the headland will reduce the impact on places of Aboriginal significance. Coaches are currently unloading visitors in areas where they may be required to walk across the protected areas of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.
Improve the visitor experience: The new transport interchange will provide an improved visitor experience including additional toilet facilities, all weather protection, multilingual signage and retail opportunities, such as souvenirs and additional tours.
Encourage additional investment: The development of the tourism transport interchange will be a catalyst for the development of surrounding sites. There are two key sites directly adjacent to the proposed interchange that are earmarked for development.
- Early Works: Complete
- Tender Release: September 2023
- Award Contract: December 2023
- Construction Commencement: December 2023 / January 2024
- Project Completion: late 2024
- Port Stephens Council
- Worimi LALC
- Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management
- NSW Government
- The Commonwealth of Australia – Represented by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
- Restart NSW Fund - $5,447,819 (NSW Government)
- Building Better Regions Fund - $4,024,787 (Commonwealth)
- Port Stephens Council - $500,000