Sad news last week, with Austinmer’s Headlands Hotel – one of the Illawarra’s most iconic landmarks – to be demolished and replaced with an apartment building.

The hotel, referred to affectionately as ‘Headies’ by locals and regular patrons, was approved for demolition in Sydney’s Land and Environment Court last week, with developers planning to build a serviced apartment and day spa complex on the picturesque site.

Graham Werry, director of Weriton Finance – which was behind the development application – described the ruling as ‘‘very sensible,” adding that the iconic hotel was “getting tired.”

Of course, the decision to demolish the Headlands Hotel is yet another body blow to a struggling Wollongong music community. Headlands has hosted local gigs for years, and has recently begun attracting national and international talent including American post-hardcore band La Dispute, The Holy Soul, Celibate Rifles and The Bakelite Age. A beautiful venue with a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere – and a custom-built area for live music – it will be sorely missed.


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