Rifle Range, Fern Bay

Fort Wallace

About Rifle Range, Fern Bay, NSW

Located adjacent to Stockton Beach Sand Dunes, the former Rifle Range in Fern Bay will be developed into a coastal community which is connected to the natural environment and heritage in a way that is sustainable and sensitive to the local surroundings. 

In May 2022, Port Stephens Council (PSC) rezoned the Rifle Range site to Medium Density Residential (R3). DHA is currently working on the preparation of Development Applications for this site and will lodge these with Port Stephens Council for assessment in May/June 2023.

DHA’s proposed concept is for a residential development providing approximately 232 land lots, a central park and scenic walkways to nearby bushland and Stockton beach. There will be a range of lot sizes suitable for single and double storey dwellings. DHA will retain a portion of the lots to build homes for Defence, while surplus land will be sold to the public.

Fast Facts:
  • Three-minute ferry ride from Stockton Wharf to Newcastle CBD, or about 20 kilometres by road
  • Close to shops, primary schools and community facilities
  • Close proximity to jobs at RAAF Base Williamtown, Kooragang Island and Newcastle CBD

For further information regarding this development, please click the link below to view information presented at the June 2023 Community Information Sessions. 


Final Preliminary Documentation Under Section 95B(4) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) submitted a Referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) on 25 August 2017 for the proposed redevelopment and disposal of the Stockton Rifle Range at Lot 5, DP 233358, Popplewell Road, Fern Bay, NSW.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment determined that the proposed action is a controlled action and that the project was to be assessed through preliminary documentation. In accordance with Section 95A(3) of the EPBC Act, the preliminary documentation relating to this proposed action was on display and public comments were invited from 19 November 2020 to 3 December 2020.

There were no comments received during the exhibition period and a copy of the Final Documentation (PDF size 273024 KB) is now available for information only. Note: This document does not reflect the design concept submitted to Council as part of the Development Application accepted for review in December 2023.

To stay up-to-date with the project, please sign-up to our mailing list via the online enquiry form.

Please see below for copies of past community newsletters (noting that some information contained in these documents has been superseded):
Development details

Type Land
Location Fern Bay, NSW 
Size 111.35 hectares
Status DA Public Notification period and Council Assessment in Progress.

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This website lists our planned and completed housing developments. Some have not received final approvals. While we strive to provide correct information, given the nature of the development and construction process some of the housing developments listed may change or not proceed.