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LEAVE OUR JETTY ALONE

Sue Hutchinson has seen dramatic changes during the 63 years she has lived at the Jetty, watching it change from a working clas
Sue Hutchinson has seen dramatic changes during the 63 years she has lived at the Jetty, watching it change from a working clas

By BELINDA SCOTT

SUE Hutchinson sees the sunrise on Jetty Beach virtually every day and she loves it just as it is.

After living at the Jetty for 63 years she does not want to see any high rise developments east of the railway line ? but she's not against some minor changes.

She would like to see more lighting on the Foreshores and a few more barbecues so people don't have to queue.

"If they want to do something with the quarry they should make it into a garden like Vancouver's Butchart Gardens," said Sue Hutchinson and her friend and neighbour Betty Rees.

Young Jetty resident Jessica Corley, who moved to the Jetty several months ago, said she would like to see the open space maintained and its natural beauty enhanced in contrast to the overdevelopment of the Sunshine Coast she had left behind.

More than 100 people, many of them older Jetty residents, braved the drizzles of rain to attend the community consultation evening on the Harbourside Project held at the Jetty Foreshores at 5pm on Thursday.

The evening was to launch the draft design principles developed by the consultants and a public opinion survey.

Although Coffs Harbour City Council staff coaxed residents with the promise of a free barbecue, drinks and live music, most of those attending seemed more interested in the chance to meet neighbours, swap stories and keep a wary eye on any radical proposals to change their beloved playground.

Coffs Harbour City Council economic development manager Megan Dixon and consultants John Shinkfield and John O'Grady from Pittendrigh Shinkfield Bruce outlined the process being followed in developing the plan.

Trevor Wilson welcomed visitors to Gumbaynggirr country on behalf of the Gumbular Julibi Aboriginal Elders and Cr Bill Palmer welcomed everyone on behalf of the council.

After a 20-year history of abortive plans for the Jetty, consultant John Shinkfield was careful to make the point that the launch of the 11 design principles hammered out so far by the consultants was part of building a plan and the consultants wanted to hear people's stories and incorporate their ideas into the final plan.

While the Foreshores is a popular recreation area, criticisms of the existing space include that it lacks sea views, is unsafe at night; has no visitor accommodation; has relatively few places to eat, meet and shop; not enough marina space for boats or buildings for other maritime activities, largely ignores both Aboriginal heritage and European history, has ugly areas and is not a vibrant or appealing centrepiece for the city.

The Harbourside Project community survey is available at Coffs Harbour City Council Chambers and on the website www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au



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