Lake Macquarie City Council looks set to support a proposal to buy another 12 months for the historic Catherine Hill Bay jetty.
The proposal involves investigating adaptive reuses of the 240-metre jetty, either in whole or in part.
“We are asking for an interim heritage order of one year to give us time to document the jetty and look at ways of saving the jetty,” Catherine Hill Bay Progress Association Sue Whyte said.
“It is tall, old and skinny. It’s a bit of an ask but it is absolutely iconic.”
The jetty, which was used until 2002, is the most recent of three coal loading structures that have stood on the site since the 1870s.
A cafe or restaurant appear to be the most likely options for a future commercial operation on the jetty.
The jetty, which is owned by Lake Coal has been earmarked for demolition several times over the past 15 years.
Ms Whyte said the company had indicated it would contribute funds towards a suitable adaptive reuse project.
“Catherine Hill Bay is one of two heritage towns in the state and the jetty was the reason the town existed,” Ms Whyte said.
“Just ripping it out and coming up with a clean slate would be ridiculous.”
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Faser indicated council supported the application for an interim heritage order in a recent letter to the group.
“Council recognises that the Catherine Hill Bay jetty is of potentially state heritage significance and that a full heritage assessment of the jetty including archival recording, professional heritage assessment, further research regarding maritime archaeological issues and the development of an interpretation strategy should be undertaken before the long-term future of the jetty is determined,” Cr Fraser wrote.
A spokeswoman for Lake Coal said the company was not in a position to talk about the notice of motion to be put to the council on Monday night.
“Lake Coal is committed to working with all stakeholders, both local and government, over the former Moonee Colliery site,” the statement said.
“Lake Coal will continue to work within the scope of its obligations under the approved mine closure plan for the site.”
An underwater dive park built on the seabed at the foot of the jetty, was among the options that have been considered in recent years.
The park would have concrete swim-through pipes, statues, sunken train carriages and small boat or aircraft wrecks.
The jetty’s heritage significance increased after a section of it was lost in a fire that ravaged the town in late 2013.
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