Tide is turning for committee

BELLINGEN and Dorrigo have a swimming pool, Mylestom has a sea bath and Vanessa Hogan from the Urunga Tidal Facility Action Group says the committee isn’t asking much for their sea-side community.

The group has been liaising with a marine biologist and marine geologist lined up by Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser. The latest effort at shedding some science on the viability of the old lido site is hoped to come from a hydrologist, who would assess sand flow and determine dredging needs.

Ms Hogan said they may be putting the cart before the horse by enlisting the help of experts before mapping the issues but are hoping insight into feasibility will help build their case.

“We have been granted permission by the Lands Department to forge ahead with a swimming facility but they will not be the proponent of the development and said funding would be up to local council,” Ms Hogan said.

“As a group we want to find out why previous grant applications have been rejected so we can make our case better next time. We want to know if this project is a priority for council and will keep reminding them ‘don’t forget about us, don’t forget about us, don’t forget about us’.”

“We are avoiding the term pool because we would be happy to have an open area and pontoon to swim out to. By taking out that sand, tide flow would be aided, the lagoon flushed out and we would have an area to swim in.”

Bellingen council’s director of engineering, Wayne Butler, says funding for the facility is a priority for the council.

“We have many projects on our books which need undertaking and we are working on getting them up and running but patience is needed,” Mr Butler said. “Grants come at various times from different streams and we will continue to keep our eyes open for future funding opportunities.

“I would suggest the committee organise a further meeting with stakeholders. This would allow for discussions on how to move forward with an action plan and stakeholders could add support to the next grant application.”



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