By CRAIG McTEAR
EVERY city has its special place, somewhere you can relax and feel at ease.
In Coffs we have the harbour and foreshores, the 'crown in the jewel' as it's so often called.
Wayne Evans from the Jetty Action Group (JAG) goes one step further, describing it as a place of 'spirituality', 'majesty' and 'magic'.
But there's an overwhelming feeling in the community that if we're going to make it even better, we can't afford to stuff up. We have to strike the right balance between environmental, social and economic concerns.
A JAG-organised barbecue meeting at the Jetty Foreshores yesterday may have attracted only 50 people, but that didn't take away from their passion about how the harbour and surrounds should look in the future.
JAG spokesman Stephen Pratt said an array of grand revitalisation plans had gone by the wayside over the decades, including the ambitious $74 million strategy shelved after last year's city council elections.
He said now was the time for residents to make their own wish list for this publicly-owned mecca.
People were urged to suggest what they'd like to see happen in the precincts broadly divided as the marina/breakwater, Happy Valley/Ocean Gem, the foreshores/jetty, the boat ramp/fishing club and Corambirra Point.
Walking trails, campsites, an ampitheatre, the planting of bush tucker trees and an artificial surf reef were just some of the more interesting ideas thrown around yesterday.
Gumbula Julipi elders said they didn't want any buildings east of the rail line, while the land near Corambirra Point should have more picnic areas.
Preserving the area for open space was a popular theme.
The brainstorming session will be followed by a workshop at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden on April 16 from 1pm to 5pm, when all ideas will be compiled as part of a brief to go to the city council.
For further details, contact Wayne Evans on 6656 1358.