News

Future of Bald Hill takes flight

Bald Hill, Stanwell Tops

HAVE your say on the future of Bald Hill Reserve at Stanwell Park. Wollongong City Council has launched a community engagement program to get feedback on enhancing this nationally important scenic and historical site.

Councillor Leigh Colacino said that Bald Hill is treasured by residents and visitors for both its spectacular views of the Illawarra coastline and its role in Australian aviation history.

“Council acknowledges that there is a delicate balance between protecting the intrinsic beauty of the site, safely managing Bald Hill’s high visitation and providing appropriate amenities for visitors,” Cr Colacino said.

“We have appointed Arup, a built environment and engineering consultancy, to work with the community on the Landscape Masterplan for Bald Hill Reserve and have briefed the consultants to work with stakeholders and the community to achieve this delicate balance.

“The Arup team is starting with a blank slate to give the community the opportunity to participate in the planning process from the start.”

When the weather is favourable, Bald Hill Reserve is a magnet for locals, tourists and the gliding community and commonly attracts more than 3,000 people on weekends.

“This popularity creates problems as the site’s car parks and amenities were not designed to manage such large volumes of visitors,” Cr Colacino said. “People’s enjoyment of the site is being impacted by road safety concerns, buses blocking access to car parks, dated toilet facilities and odour issues associated with the ageing septic system.

“We need to make plans to fix these issues, while at the same time protecting and enhancing the features that attract so many visitors to the site.”

You can participate in the discussion in a number of ways:

• Online at www.collaborativemap.org/baldhill – Leave your mark on the map to show us what’s important, what needs improving and any ideas you have for the site. Available online anytime from anywhere until 11 May.

• Design charrette – A half day design session will be held on Friday May 4. Places are limited, call 1800 657 248 or email baldhillmasterplan@arup.com.au to register.

• Community information session – Drop into Helensburgh Community Centre on Saturday May 5 at a time that suits you between 10am and 2pm. The team will be available to answer your questions about the masterplanning process.

• Community design session – As part of the community information session we will be running 45 minute design sessions at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm on Saturday May a5 t the Helensburgh Community Centre. Places are limited, call 1800 657 248 or email baldhillmasterplan@arup.com.au to register.

• Phone 1800 657 248 and speak to the team.

• Email baldhillmasterplan@arup.com.au

This is the first of a number of engagement activities planned for the coming months for the Bald Hill Landscape Masterplan.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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