Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter Our Backyard June 2011 Contents 39
wanting an alternative or coastal way of living.
Jann Duggan, the head teacher creative and
performing arts at Great Lakes College, and
her husband Barry were among those keen to
experience the ''idyllic lifestyle'' of the area. The
couple moved to the area several years ago and
have not regretted their decision.
''Living and working in Forster-Tuncurry is
the most idyllic lifestyle, with its clean beaches,
lakes and waterways delivering nearly perfect
weather all year round,'' Duggan says. ''Barry
and I have met many new friends through his
sporting interests and we regularly enjoy the
picturesque restaurants, community clubs,
concerts and recreational facilities that the town
has to offer and yet we are not too far away to
attend events in Newcastle or Sydney.''
Duggan believes the educational facilities in
the area give students a springboard for their
future careers in any city or town where they
choose to work or study.
''As a teacher at Great Lakes College I see the
different patterns of study that the college offers
students in this area in collaboration with the
TAFE and the local business community. This
focuses on the needs of each stage of learning
providing a supportive environment to achieve
outstanding educational outcomes.''
The increase in people wanting a change of
lifestyle has meant that in the older parts of
Forster and Tuncurry many single residential
homes have been replaced by medium to higher
density housing. There has been significant
population growth in the past two decades,
especially in Forster and Tuncurry and other
coastal areas, with the population increasing
from about 26,000 in 1991 to 31,000 in 2001,
and increasing again to 33,000 in 2006. The
estimated population at June 30 last year is
35,924, up 1.33 per cent on the previous year.
Analysis of the family types in the Great
Lakes council area in 2006 compared to the
Hunter Statistical Division shows that there
is a smaller proportion of couple families with
children as well as a smaller proportion of one-
An analysis of the occupations of the
residents in 2006 shows the three most popular
occupations are technicians and trades workers
(1715 or 16.1 per cent), labourers (1594 or 15
per cent) and managers (1490 or 14 per cent).
Gloucester, the ''gateway to the Barrington
Tops'', is a quiet rural area, but that doesn't
mean it is a place that people don't want
to know about. On the contrary, the visitor
information centre deals with an average of 45
telephone and email inquiries every day.
The splendid ''Tops'' is the main reason for the
calls, with visitors requesting information on
bushwalking, canoeing, scenic drives, national
parks, farm trails plus other activities.
A major area of inquiry is local
accommodation, which ranges from farmstay,
bed and breakfast, motels, hotels and country
retreats through to luxury resort-style.
Gloucester township is the major commercial
and urban centre of the area and lies within
a fertile valley flanked on the west by the
Bucketts Range and on the east by the Mograni
Range. The main retail centre and commercial
and light industrial areas are located in
town, together with council offices, Gloucester
Hospital and the main schools.
The shire has five small villages - Barrington,
Bundook, Copeland, Craven and Stratford - with
Barrington to the north-west and Stratford to
the south growing in population and housing.
The area has a busy social and cultural
program with the annual Shakespeare Festival
in April, the Gloucester Writers Festival, the
Mountain Man Tri-Challenge in September and
the Gloucester Women's Gathering in October.
Gloucester Mayor Geoff Slack believes there
are great advantages to living in the region
because of three things.
''We are rural and that is certainly good, we
have tourism and we have mining,'' he says. ''At
this moment it is all good for our region and
good for our econony. Mixed together they are a
''Tourism is a big factor and that is because
we are the gateway to the Barrington Tops and
Slack lives on a 1650-hectare property that
was one of the first two Crown land grants for
the area. ''We celebrated 150 years since the
grant was made in May, 1861, last month,'' he
says. The family has owned the property for 24
years and today runs 1000 head of cattle.
Slack believes the biggest and best thing
about the area is that it is a ''small, close-knit
''We basically have all the services available,
including a hospital, doctors and plenty of social
and sporting activities,'' he says. ''We are also
reasonably close to major cities, one hour to the
coast at Forster and about the same to Taree
Nature: The beauty
of a waterfall in
Bridge and Sugarloaf
Point Lighthouse at
Pricing from $80,000 to $125,000
51 excellent blocks in the prestigious new
All Services Underground
Casey Gooch 0427 781 483
Sharee Carson 0457 707 573
"Gloucester Shire Council has received financial support from
the NSW Government's Local Infrastructure Fund in the form of
an interest free loan of $1.2M."
Reeves Estate, a 50 lot subdivision
located in Gloucester within walking
distance of the main street shops, high
school and local churches.
The Estate is finished to a high
standard with underground services
and roll curbs and includes a walkway
and bicycle trail for exercise and dog
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