Seeing the view through the vegetation
Letters to the Editor
NOW that my wife and I are retired, we have travelled this wide brown land and have seen many other towns and cities on the eastern seaboard and there are two things that sets Coffs Harbour apart from everywhere else.
Firstly, Coffs is the only city in Australia that has a swamp smack bang in the middle of it.
and the other fact is that Coffs is the only city on the coast that blocks out a beautiful harbour view with scrub and bush.
Look anywhere from Port Macquarie right up to Cairns and you will see stunning panoramic views from wherever you stand.
Amazingly these places have not been washed away by cyclones and storms as experienced recently in Airlie Beach and Cairns.
If you look at historical photographs of the harbour there was no vegetation between Jordan Esplanade and the Jetty Beach as the vegetation has only been introduced in the past 30 years.
I was hoping when our council recently spent millions of dollars on the redevelopment of the foreshores that they would have the fortitude to give us back our view.
Once again we are witnessing the vocal minority getting their way and that, fellow citizens is all we will get to see.
Silent majority against development
YOUR article on Saturday, February 2 entitled "Tunnel Visions" featured all the candidates for the coming elections and their like-minded views on the inclusion of tunnels on the bypass route. There is another important local issue that these candidates seem to be ignoring.
That is future development at the Jetty.
Over 1000 residents submitted suggestions in the recent Jetty Plan 'consultative' process, and the vast majority of these were against multi-level development on the railway land at the Jetty.
There is a silent majority of voters out there and they would embrace a candidate to take up their cause - to limit future development on the railway land to single-story.
Here is an opportunity going begging.
One or more of the candidates needs to stand out from the others, by being vocal in opposing National Party plans for multi-story development at the Jetty.
Wilson McOrist, Bonville
Enhance the Jetty Parklands now
THE existing Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores Plan of Management (PoM) 2008, clearly describes the Jetty Parkland as extending west from the mean high water mark to the railway line between "Coffs Harbour Port and South Coffs Island" (from south of the Yacht Club to Corambirra Point).
It also notes the Lands Department has intentions to acquire the surplus land from the Australian Rail Track Corporation to provide the additional land for the parklands.
When the Minister signed off on the plan in June 2008, the estimate of all capital costs was $5-10-million including additional breakwaters for the boat ramp, sewers being extended to new public toilets, improvements to the public domain and the purchase of ARTC land.
This suggests the estimated cost of acquiring the southern ARTC land for parkland at that time was between $1 million and $3 million.
The State Government has recently received more than $6 million from the sale of two properties on the northern side of the Jetty Strip.
Why not get on with implementing the plan by using this money to purchase the ARTC land dedicated for parkland use?
It could be many years before developers come up with a proposed plan for development of the areas to the north and south of the parklands.
That plan will then need to go through a lengthy public consultation process.
In the meantime, as the population of Coffs Harbour grows (2016= 72,949, 2036= 92,650- UTS), the community and our visitors should be able to access and enjoy the benefits of expanded and enhanced Jetty Parklands.
Will Coffs Harbour's state and federal political candidates have the foresight to commit to ensuring the western half of the much-loved parklands is completed as intended?
Will they help to create a valuable community asset?
Dr Garth McGilvray AM