Breathing new life into foreshores
YOU'VE given it a massive thumbs up and now the city's business and community leaders vowed to work together and do all they can to breathe new life into the foreshores precinct between the historic Jetty and the yacht club.
Prominent businessman Ian Hogbin, as a representative for the Coffs Think Tank, is leading the charge.
"The Advocate's (idea) is similar to one a lot of local business people have been developing," Mr Hogbin said. "We've been talking to the council and to State Government departments.
"There is now the momentum to finally make it happen.
Mr Hogbin said planned and necessary dredging of the harbour next year presented the perfect opportunity to progress the project.
"We could use the sand to build the area up, create a gentle slope and address the drainage issues between the jetty and the yacht club. I would encourage the council to obtain the necessary approvals for some of the sand to be used for this project.
"Finding the funds to undertake any work on the harbour and fore- shores has always been a major impediment, but with the business and wider community on board with in-kind help and 'mates rates' the revamp of that area can be achieved."
George Cecato, from another influential local business group, Friday Lunch On Thursday, as well as Tourism Coffs Coast, said a revamp of the area was a priority for the city.
"On a scale of one to 10 ... it's a 15," Mr Cecato said.
"So many tourists tell our members they are staggered by the neglect of the jetty area. We need to create something special here and the tourism industry and the business community are right behind it."
Chamber of Commerce president Leonie Kennedy said her organisation was committed to getting funding for the project.
"Coffs Harbour missed out on the last two rounds of Regional Devel- opment Organisation funding, so the chamber will be presenting a strong case for getting some grant money in the next round of applications in October," Ms Kennedy said.
"With the fantastic level of community and business support for the project, we will present an argument that will be hard toignore."
Local service clubs which have contributed so much over so many years to the rehabilitation of the Jetty Foreshores have also come on board.
"Our members were there when the first foreshores improvements were made, and we'd be delighted to put in another big effort," Pacific City Lions member Geoff Maunder said.
Wayne Glenn, from Coffs Harbour Rotary, said service clubs held the key to getting the job done and at minimal cost.
"Within our membership we have architects, builders, engineers, in fact the full gamut of skills needed to landscape the area and build a boardwalk," Mr Glenn said.
"We think making the quadrant (between the jetty and yacht club) a priority is not only overdue but achievable."
Dominic Hawke from Coffs City Rotary said the city's service clubs already had a strong ownership of the area.
"We know how important upgrading this area is to the city," Mr Hawke said. "In effect, local service clubs could contribute hundreds if not thousands of man hours towards making this happen."
Mr Hogbin, a former councillor, said the new council needed to urgently harness the community's renewed energy for finally addressing the first stage of a foreshores upgrade to follow on from the State 1 works recently competed by the council.
"This is a great opportunity to continue to progress the foreshores precinct. It will become a focal point for the community and a confidence boost and catalyst for change across the city."