By KIREN THANDI
RUMOURS are rife that one of Coffs Harbour's best-known icons is about to come tumbling down.
The Aquajet, a long-standing feature and attraction for locals and tourists alike, has apparently been asked to vacate the site it has occupied for more than 25 years, to make way for new developments at Park Beach Plaza.
These new Park Beach Plaza developments are rumoured to be 30 new shops and a carpark, but this has not been confirmed.
While Aquajet owner, Ken Lessells, has declined to comment on this particular topic for now, sources say that the Aquajet is being donated to the Pet Porpoise Pool and will be moved to the Edgar Street oval, in the Jetty area.
Building of the Aquajet began 27 years ago, and it was the first construction on the Plaza site, preceding the shopping complex itself.
In fact, according to Mr Lessells, the great blue flumes of the Aquajet also have the honour of being the first elevated waterslide in Australia, the idea coming after Mr Lessells saw one on a trip to America.
Since then, the site has gone under further developments, becoming Coffs Harbour's very own a mini-theme park.
It contains junior jeeps, go carts, a pool, trampoline, jumping castle, mini golf, a dry slide, and more. Companies and school groups often hold functions or fundraisers there, ensuring a good time for all involved. WHAT happens if the Aquajet moves to the Jetty area?
One resident from that area isn't happy about the rumours that the Aquajet will be moving there.
"All I've heard, secondhand, is that the Aquajet is closing on the current site because (Park Beach Plaza) is wanting to do something with the land, and that the Aquajet is being gifted to the Pet Porpoise Pool," said the man, who wishes to remain anonymous.
"I don't want to begrudge the Pet Porpoise Pool, but things are being dumped on the Jetty," he said.
"The Pet Porpoise Pool is a fantastic facility which needs to be supported, however locating a waterslide of that magnitude in the area would seriously impact on the amenity of the area.
The man asked whether the people of Coffs Harbour would have input about where the Aquajet would go.
"A structure like that . . . needs to go somewhere that is suitable."
He said that while the Aquajet would not obstruct his own view, he didn't think the structure belonged in the Jetty area.
"It's not about my own backyard, it's about the Jetty area and the aesthetics.
"I don't want to see a three-storey structure there."
A spokesperson from Bachrach Group, which owns Park Beach Plaza, said they could not make comment as yet. However, he said, information about the Aquajet will be forthcoming within the next few weeks.