An interesting year ahead
HELLO. This is my first mayoral column of the year and I'm delighted to be back. What a year it's shaping up to be.
The word on everyone's lips at the moment is the bypass. It's been a very interesting couple of months with a major show of people power pushing the State Government into an apparent backflip on its sudden change to knock tunnels out of the plans for the bypass.
However, without sight of the final bypass plans we all need to keep a careful eye on what is proposed and not rest until we get the bypass the Coffs Harbour community wants and deserves - and that means one with tunnels, not cuttings.
Election? What election?
Some people have said the State Government's seeming change of heart over the bypass may have had something to do with the upcoming March election. Surely not?
Whatever your view, the election for the State seat of Coffs Harbour is attracting a wide field of candidates, so do your homework and choose carefully.
CBD the place to be
It's also an exciting year for the CBD with the news that we've just appointed the architects who will work on creating a concept plan of what the new Cultural and Civic Space will finally look like.
It's great to know the lead architect for the project is Matthew Blair who grew up and went to school in Coffs. I'm confident he really understands the community and I know it's been his life-long ambition to work on this very project.
I've also recently met the new-look CBD Masterplan committee who are all very committed and keen to see our CBD develop into the social, economic and cultural hub that's so important for our city's future.
Australia Day needs you
I might be looking far ahead but I'd urge you all to keep an eye out during the year for a local hero who deserves to be recognised with an Australia Day Award in 2020. We rely on the public to put forward nominations and I know there are many ordinary people out there doing extraordinary things - and we need to hear about them.
And talking of 2020, next year is the 100th anniversary of the very first Sawtell Fun Day. Make a note now and come along and show your support next New Year's Day for this popular family event.
Also keep an eye out for all the events and festivals that will be happening at the Jetty Foreshores throughout the year. It's a wonderful place to spend time with loved ones.