Award-winning jetty plan
THE extensive and successful community consultation that saw the Jetty4Shores Project in Coffs Harbour gain massive public approval has been recognised with an award from the Planning Institute of Australia - the Public Engagement and Community Planning accolade.
"If you can take a community on the journey with you to reach a goal, you know you've truly worked together," Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said.
"The Jetty4Shores Project put the Coffs Harbour community's dream of a vibrant and attractive foreshore at its heart and that was, I believe, the secret to its success.
"Everyone involved in the consultation - the community reference group, the council staff and the stakeholders - should be congratulated for doing a great job.
"Between them and the community, we've finally been able to put the harbour back into Coffs Harbour."
Sharon Smith, project manager for Jetty4Shores, drove the community engagement approach and process.
"We involved a significant number of stakeholders, including Crown Lands and the community reference group, during the preparation and exhibition of the draft Jetty4Shores Plan in all decisions to achieve a consensus on the way forward," Ms Smith said.
"We then made sure we got out into the community via a wide range of engagement opportunities, such as information sessions, market stalls, extensive advertising, media releases, a web presence and a long-term exhibition in the main council administrative building.
"We also went for a very recognisable and consistent branding of the project itself.
During the consultation more than 1500 people viewed the preliminary plans during the pre-exhibition stage and 319 pre-submissions were received.
There were 3922 views of the webpage and a total of 1348 submissions were received during the draft exhibition period, with 63% of those in either full support or in support of most aspects of the draft plan as exhibited.
The final plan was approved by council in October, 2013, and subsequently endorsed by both state and federal members.
Works on the construction of the Walkway centrepiece will start in January next year.