Get it right this time, minister
NSW Minister for Planning's Kristina Keneally's announcement of a new City Centre Plan for Coffs Harbour has a hint of deja vu.
As a non-planner, but a survivor of many previous council plans and community consultation processes, the questions that come to mind are:
• How does this new plan fit in with all the other plans around and will it mean scrapping any of the work already done?
• Who will be the members of the new community reference group and how much influence will they have on the planning process?
Coffs Harbour has a patchy planning record.
Left on the cutting room floor in recent years have been a succession of plans for the harbour and its foreshores; for cultural facilities including an art gallery and artist's studio at City Hill; for a concert entertainment venue at the Coffs Harbour Showground and for a caravan park and tourist facilities at Boambee Beach.
Planned and built with much fanfare, the city centre mall had to be sent back to the drawing board to be demolished and replanned.
Given that poor track record, we hope this time those entrusted to act on our behalf get it right.