Strong partnership underpins new $7 million facility for national parks and Worimi Conservation Lands board in Hunter Coast

A milestone event on Friday saw the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Worimi Conservation Lands board unveil a state-of-the-art facility catering to 40 staff members in Anna Bay, in the Hunter Coast area.

Man blowing smoke from flowering gum leaves, held in a carved wooden board filled with ash

The $7 million investment marks a significant partnership and is the first time a facility has been jointly funded by both the NSW Government and an Aboriginal joint management board.

Seventeen years ago, the NSW Government returned 4,200 hectares of land at Stockton Bight to the Worimi traditional owners. This included what became the Worimi Conservation Lands which are now managed jointly with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

This purpose-built NPWS office and depot stands on Worimi Conservation Lands. It combined office and field operations, improving efficiency and flexibility in managing parks and enhancing emergency response, particularly during bushfires.

NPWS manages more than 20 national parks and conservation areas in the NPWS Hunter Coast region, and this new facility will transform how teams work together, improving communication, coordination, and safety measures.

Kylie Yeend, NPWS director Hunter Central Coast commended the cooperative spirit underlying this project.

'It’s wonderful to see this jointly funded office and depot complete – it represents the forging of a close partnership between NPWS and the Worimi Conservation Lands board.

'Congratulations to all who played a part in this remarkable collaboration between the local Aboriginal community, represented by the Worimi Conservation Lands board, and our dedicated NPWS team.

'Having all staff in one location enhances our collective ability to safeguard and preserve the cherished environments of the Hunter Central Coast.'

Jamie Tarrant, chair of the board of management for the Worimi Conservation Lands, said:

'Establishing a purpose-built office and depot on Worimi Conservation Lands has been a dream for the board since the first board began the journey in 2008.

'The board has wanted to create a space the Worimi community could be proud, where our staff can succeed and grow. In designing this space, we wanted to have the next generation aspire and be proud to work for NPWS.

'The Worimi Conservation Lands board is delighted to partner with NPWS to deliver the first office and depot of its kind in New South Wales. We now have a place to come together and deliver our work in caring for Worimi Country.'

The new office, situated at 4154 Nelson Bay Road in Anna Bay, will become a place of conservation, cultural stewardship, and community engagement for generations to come.

Images and footage available from Dropbox.