Wollongong City Council’s vision to create a "vibrant recreation and tourism hub” at Mount Keira Summit Park is one step closer.
Councillors will decide whether to put the park’s management plan and landscape concept plan on public exhibition at the next council meeting on October 29.
The plan sets out the main guidelines for permissible activities at the site and the minor changes to re-categorise a portion of community land from cultural significance to general community use.
The plan ensures the park site continues to be a scenic lookout over the Illawarra Escarpment that respects the rich Aboriginal heritage.
Wollongong City Council Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the plan gave the council a "clear idea” about what activities or services could be featured at the site.
"The summit park is an iconic feature of the city and it needs to be properly maintained," he said.
“The council only owns 9.4 hectares at the top of the summit so it needs to collaborate with National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Aboriginal community.
“There is also more work to be done with National Parks and Wildlife Service in relation to mountain biking. There are environmental protections and geotechnical instability at the site so there is more work to be done.
"The plan gives a broad outline of where the council is headed with its plans for the site and the conservation values."
The plan sets out the permissible uses of the site, which has been a popular destination for tourists and residents for generations.
These uses could include improvements to the lookouts, including reinstatement of the Five Islands Lookout; improved tracks and new trails including a high ropes course; and upgrades to the car park, picnic facilities and toilets.
Food and beverage buildings and services such as a permanent cafe and restaurant or food vans are allowable, as is rock climbing and abseiling; art, sculpture and commemorative plaques including love locks; Aboriginal cultural activities; group tours and events and functions.
Overnight camping, dog walking and hang gliding will be prohibited.
Illegal mountain trail bike riding occurs below the summit park in the escarpment conversation area.
The management plan states the council will continue to investigate the feasibility of mountain biking across the escarpment in consultation with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the community.
Mt Keira is an integral part of country for the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the Illawarra with Dreamtime creation stories linked to the mountain and surrounding areas.
Cr Bradbery said the site provided a great opportunity to expand and protect the site's Aboriginal heritage.
"The plan for the site is progressing but it progressing respectfully,” he said.
“The council respects the site's Aboriginal value and there are many tourists who want to come to the park to learn about the Aboriginal heritage."
Geotechnical, bushfire and high environmental sensitivity, as well as no drinking water limits the uses at the site.
The installation of a permanent power supply has recently started. There is also a telecommunications tower on the site.
If approved, the plan will be on public exhibition for 42 days and can be viewed via the council's website.
There will also be a public meeting and information stand at the site.