Lookout could get back its view

THERE may be brighter views ahead for visitors to Beacon Hill, following a trip to the well-known Coffs Harbour coastal lookout by senior staff from the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.

Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades said the department was being very co-operative in assisting council to seek an outcome to the gradual loss of views, which has led to complaints from residents, visitors and marine rescue officials.

“We are after a plan that will allow vision for the Marine Rescue Unit and for tourism,” the mayor said.

“And it is not just Beacon Hill – at Boambee Headland you used to be able to see the township of Sawtell, including the main street and you can't do that now.”

He said the council was interested in lopping vegetation, not killing trees.

Cr Rhoades said he had spoken to the director general of DECCW and a DECCW section head had come to Coffs Harbour and had been taken to the Marine Rescue operations room so the department was fully aware of the situation.

The council's director of city services, Ben Lawson, said last month the council had commissioned a study some time ago identifying threatened species which would be impacted by clearing.

He said to progress the matter the council needed to produce a species impact statement (SIS) that would assess the impacts of the work.

The matter has been made more urgent by a request from the Marine Rescue Unit that the council pay for raised CCTV cameras to allow them to peer above the foliage, a project estimated to cost about $20,000.

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