Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, today announced work will commence early this year to design and rebuild Stockton Boat Harbour, providing the Newcastle recreational and commercial boating community with safer berthing.

The NSW Government has allocated $4.3 million to improve the safety, use and accessibility of the 50-year old harbour.

Rebuilding the harbour will be a two stage process led by the RMS and is estimated to take a maximum of 18 months.

The first stage which is due to start in March 2017 will involve establishing a new 25 berth swing mooring and dinghy rack facility north of the existing harbour at North Stockton.

Once complete, vessels will moved to the new swing mooring facility so the second stage of rebuilding the existing Stockton Harbour infrastructure can begin.

Investigations conducted into the safety of the existing harbour last year revealed the need for harbour to undergo construction.

Extensive consultation with the local community, commercial fishers and local boat owners also influenced the decision.

Hendrik Clasie from the RMS described the rebuild as “a long time coming” and “something we’re pleased to get off the ground and finally deliver”.