Shoalhaven City Council has welcomed the announcement of $100,000 in funding from the NSW Minister for Lands Tony Kelly to help upgrade the historic lighthouse on Crookhaven Headland.
Acting Shoalhaven City Mayor Councillor Gareth Ward welcomed the funding for one of the city’s old lighthouses.
“I believe this funding will help to bring a new lease of life to a historic reminder that the Shoalhaven was a thriving city where ships would ply produce and timber up and down the coast,” Clr Ward said. “The city provided produce to Sydney and the Shoalhaven River was a significant access point for goods to be taken to Sydney.
“Council has been in discussions with the NSW government departments on the lighthouse and its future,” Clr Ward said. “This project has taken a lot of hard work by Council staff and also negotiations with the relevant NSW government departments.
“As far back as 2006 Council has offered the Department of Lands support for heritage funding to preserve the lighthouse and to consider interpretive and educational signage associated with the lighthouse and its proud history.”
The original lighthouse at Crookhaven Heads was constructed of timber in 1882 and located as part of the Shoalhaven Pilot Station with a Mr. Thomas Bishop being the first operator.
A new lighthouse to the south of the mouth of the Shoalhaven River was built in 1904 and the old wooden lighthouse was demolished.
The walk around the headland adjacent to the historical lighthouse follows a well-developed track and provides good views of the whole of the Crookhaven Bight and Shoalhaven River.
In October 2007 Minister Kelly provided $60,000 to fund the restoration of the lighthouse at Warden Head in Ulladulla. This lighthouse is also on the Council’s Local Heritage Register.
In January 2007 Council voted $11,870 to improve view lines and walking track to the Crookhaven Headland lighthouse.
In April 2008 Council wrote to the then Minister for Lands seeking support for funding for the restoration of the lighthouse. Council again wrote in July 2008 requesting funding.
Council also applied for funding from the Federal Government’s Department of Environment, Heritage and Arts Jobs Fund in October 2009, but was unsuccessful.
The lighthouse sits on land owned and managed by the NSW Land & Property Management Authority. Council is the Trustee Manager of the land which forms the headland, but not the lighthouse. Council has a plan of management for Crookhaven Headland, with Council maintaining the path, track and vegetation.
The lighthouse was commissioned in 1904 and replaced a wooden structure about 200 metres away on the beach. The lighthouse incorporates the lantern from the former lighthouse on Cape St George which dates back to 1863.
June 2010 photo: NSW Minister for Lands Tony Kelly is joined with Councillor John Ferguson, General Manager Russ Pigg and South Coast Register Editor John Hanscombe to inspect the Crookhaven lighthouse.