Support for South Wall work
THE people of Coffs Harbour have sent an unequivocal message to our civic leaders and our would-be State politicians – fix up the city’s ‘jewel in the crown’.
The ringing endorsement for something to be done to revitalise the Jetty came in the Advocate’s pre-election snapshot.
More than 500 people responded to our survey and to all but one of the seven questions about the Jetty there was strong support for change.
The snapshot has shown a desire for an overhaul of the Jetty Foreshores and marina precinct, and surprisingly strong support for something to be done at South Wall, including the derelict quarry at Corambirra Point.
Asked whether they supported the redevelopment of the marina precinct a staggering 88.8% indicated they did.
More than four in five respondents to our survey said they wanted the Jetty Foreshores beautified or redeveloped, with almost two-thirds saying they wanted to see the vegetation along the foreshores thinned so that people using the picnic and play areas or driving along Marina Dr could enjoy views of the harbour.
A concept which has been in the public domain for many years – a boardwalk along the foreshores – received overwhelming support with 85% of people ticking the ‘yes’ box.
More than two-thirds of respondents also supported commercial development in the form of restaurants and cafes along the
foreshores but when it came to tourist accommodation east of the railway line the result was almost reversed.
More than 60% of respondents said they were opposed to the idea.
Whether that is because people fear the building of high-rise constructions and might be happier if any accommodation was limited to just one or two storeys will need to be explored further.
Some of those people who indicated they opposed tourist accommodation within the foreshores precinct commented that they weren’t necessarily opposed to low-profile and low-impact developments.
There could still be an opportunity for the city council to accommodate the hotel or resort-style development that will be needed to fund the sort of improvements that will finally put the Jetty and the city on the map.
The snapshot revealed almost four out of every five people said they supported development at South Wall and in the old quarry site.
That area is largely Crown land and also holds cultural significance to the Coffs Coast’s indigenous community, but the survey results indicate people do want to finally see something done about an area which is virtually devoid of any endearing aesthetic.
For the council, our federal member, and whoever becomes our next State member of parliament, the challenge will be to negotiate collectively for an outcome at South Wall which could potentially elevate our city to a whole new level.