CLIMBING your way to our town's most famous landmark soon will be a little easier.
A new set of stairs soon will be built at Tacking Point Lighthouse after Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise this week received approval of an almost $20,000 federal government grant.
Chair of Lighthouse Project Committee for Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise Neil Black, above, said he was thrilled when he found out the grant to address erosion had been approved.
A retaining wall and the planting of native grasses and shrubs will be among the other works to start this month.
The main aims were to revegetate the bank and encourage visitors to use stairs rather than walk on the grass, Mr Black said.
"The erosion problem has to be addressed. The banks are badly eroded and the predisposing cause is pedestrians," he said. The grant is part of the Australian Government's Caring for Our Country program.
Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott said it was a worthy project and he will visit the site with Rotary club members tomorrow.
"The iconic Tacking Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in Australia, so the work about to happen on site is significant, not only for our community but for the nation," Mr Oakeshott said.
"So far, passionate locals such as Neil Black have done some great work to restore the lighthouse's weather-beaten exterior to its former glory. Now we can get on with the next stage the grounds and the headland."
The works are stage two of a Lighthouse masterplan approved by council last year.
Stage one, a $30,000 revamp of the lighthouse itself including painting and restoration works was completed earlier this year. The entire plan is estimated to cost $335,000, and includes an overhaul of the landscape, new walking paths, interpretive signs and an ongoing maintenance program for the lighthouse.
The restoration is a joint project of the Rotary club and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Council administrator Neil Porter will also visit the area with Mr Black and Mr Oakeshott tomorrow.
"If we can address the erosion it's of long-term benefit to the whole headland," Mr Black said.