Morpeth Bicentenary Commemoration
Originally one of the most important river ports in NSW and instrumental part of the development of the entire Hunter Valley, the township of Morpeth, originally known by its Aboriginal name ‘Illalaung,’ will celebrate the bicentenary of its founding by Lieutenant Edward Charles Close, in November 2021.
Council is taking the lead in commemorating this significant milestone in the township’s history and in March 2020 it formed the Morpeth Bicentenary Working Group to explore options for how the bicentenary could be commemorated before developing a project proposal to present back to Council for consideration.
The Group, chaired by Mayor Cr Loretta Baker, which comprises six Morpeth business and resident representatives along with Maitland’s three North Ward Councillors have now shortlisted four projects which could be suitable for commemorating the Bicentenary of Morpeth in 2021.
The Working Group is now seeking your input to gauge the level of community support for each of the projects.
The four shortlisted projects are:
The development of a shared pedestrian and bicycle path along the waterfront adjacent to the Hunter River. The pathway would include interpretive public art and wayfinding signage as well as seating and bike racks.
Sealing and reopening Steamer Street (currently an unpaved and unused public road), which connects Queens Wharf west to Morpeth Road as a shared pedestrian and bicycle path or possibly to also include vehicular traffic. The project also could include interpretation of the former railway, sandstone quarry and sandstone culvert.
Working with Transport for NSW (infrastructure owner) to develop feature lighting of the State heritage listed Morpeth Bridge. Lighting would be used to highlight the Bridge’s impressive 1898 Allan type timber truss construction.
Working with Transport for NSW (infrastructure owner) to temporarily open the bridge to pedestrians only on the weekend of the bicentenary. Picnics and hampers on the bridge, a long lunch, walking tours, produce stalls and live music may all be possible on this iconic Morpeth structure.
Artist impressions of these shortlisted projects are available in the gallery slider below.
Have Your Say
At the 13 October Council Meeting, the Morpeth Bicentenary Commemoration Proposal, developed by the Morpeth Bicentenary Working Group, was endorsed.
The proposal included three infrastructure projects including a Riverside Shared Path, Steamer Street Shared Path and the architectural lighting of Morpeth Bridge, as well as a proposal for the weekend of the Bicentenary that included a Corroboree and bridge open day.
Council officers will now continue to seek funding opportunities for the Riverside Shared Path and Steamer Street Shared Path projects and undertake detailed planning for the lighting of Morpeth Bridge and weekend commemoration projects, including seeking approvals from Transport for NSW.
A report(s) will be presented back to Council detailing cost estimate and potential options for funding, for the aforementioned projects.
Online survey opens
Online survey closes at 9.00am
Working group investigates concepts and develops a detailed project proposal
Proposal to Council for consideration