THE project to restore the Crookhaven Heads lighthouse lantern will continue, though not as originally thought.
The lantern will not be placed back on the structure after it is refurbished.
A deal with the South Coast Correctional Centre will see inmates help return the metal lantern to its former glory, but it will not return to its original location.
Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said once restored, the community will have the chance to vote on where the lantern should be placed.
“There have been a few challenges as there is a lot of detailed work that needs to be done on the lantern,” she said.
“When it is finished the community will be able to vote on where to put it.
“We don’t want to put it back where it was because it was prone to vandalism and general wear and tear,” she said.
Inmates at the South Coast Correctional Centre worked on the lighthouse for the past year clearing vegetation from the area, cleaning graffiti off the lighthouse building and helping to restore the lantern.
Mrs Hancock said there was a sense of optimism around the lighthouse as a tourist attraction.
The Shoalhaven Tourism Committee will take on the project with hopes of drawing more people to Crookhaven headland.
“Council has agreed to upgrade the surrounding area to the lighthouse as a tourism project and we are talking about a walking area and tracks to the existing site,” Mrs Hancock said.
“This is good news and could potentially attract more money this way than as a heritage asset.”
Shoalhaven City Council recreational manager Claire Scott said the lighthouse and grounds were in the care and control of the Crown Land Division (CLD) and were not the responsibility of council.
“The Crown has the responsibility of the lighthouse and future management of the facility,” she said.
“Council still has an interest in creating walking tracks leading to the site and using the lighthouse as a tourism junket for the local area.”