By the Editor.
Tonight’s Coffs City Council meeting has a busy, some might say action packed, agenda. The most innocuous looking, but possibly the most ‘flammable,’ being an extraordinary council meeting item to be held once the formal meeting has concluded.
Outlook understands it may be related to the position of General Manager in some way.
There are some big issues on the agenda to be considered by Council this week. Among those which will be discussed at this week’s council meeting are the following:
Qantas Training Academy in Coffs Harbour?
Council will decide whether to submit an expression of interest for the Qantas pilot training facility to to be based in Coffs Harbour, however a report authored by airport manager Dennis Martin strongly advises against this decision.
Qantas recently announced it will establish a pilot training facility near an existing regional airport, with an aim for it to be operational by 2019.
According to Mr Martin’s report, Coffs Harbour is not a suitable site due to “its location and future growth potential as a major regional hub for commercial airline operations.” Essentially the argument is that the airport can be a commercial one as it currently is, and growth can be based around that, or it can be a training airport with up to 500 trainee pilots flying in and out each day which would probably also require a new runway. But it can’t be both.
The report also states high frequency training flights would increase the noise footprint over residential areas that surround the airport.
Apparently both Kempsey and Port Macquarie Airports and local general aviation and aviation training organisations were consulted as part of the report.
There is nothing in the report about whether Grafton Airport was also consulted, which is interesting, as it probably has plenty of air space and runway availability but may not have been able to be ‘brought up to speed’ for 2019 so as to train QANTAS pilot cadets.
Which is a pity as Grafton could have offered some flow on economic benefits to the wider Coffs Coast in my opinion.
Gettng major projects construction ready
COUNCIL will consider a report to bring eight major projects to construction, or ‘shovel ready’ status. Tonight’s agenda reports that funding is immediately available for three of these projects including Stage 5 of the Jetty4Shores project (100+ car parking), Stage 6 (embellishment of open space at Jetty), and also a new glasshouse for the North Coast Regional Botanic Gardens.
Council will decide whether to ‘give the green light’ to bring these projects to CTP (2) level. This means they would be approved as ready for construction. Council will also need to decide whether to bring the five other projects to CTP (1) level, meaning they will be ready to support Grant Submissions.
These Council agenda lists these five projects as the Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Community Infrastructure Improvement Program, Arrawarra Reserve Project, Woolgoolga Whale Trail, Jetty Memorial Theatre Project and Brelsford Park Masterplan works.
Funding to begin work on airport tech park
COUNCIL will decide whether to submit a government grant application for the $24,500,000 Coffs Harbour Regional Airport Enterprise Park development.
If granted this will see land on the northern end of Coffs Harbour Regional Airport house projects such as a technology precinct, numerous commercial outlets, aviation services and also a light industrial area.
Disability service funding
Cr Sally Townley is listed to move that Council write a letter to the NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams, to urgently request that funding for Mid North Coast Disability Advocacy is maintained or increased. The State Government last year announced they will no longer fund Disability Advocacy services after June 30.
However Outlook understands this may no longer be necessary after the Berejiklian Government this week announced it had reversed its decision on this matter.
New local heritage sites?
COUNCIL will decide whether to list five new sites as Local Heritage sites, including The Big Banana, The Windmill Restaurant, the First Sikh Temple Woolgoolga, Guru Nanak Sikh Temple and the also the former Forestry building.
Council will also decide whether to refer these sites, apart from the Forestry building, for evaluation on State Heritage significance. this is interesting as Outlook understands a number of land owners of these sites do not necessarily support heritage listing.
Other nominated sites also include Arrawarra Headland , Coffs Harbour Jetty and the old Ulong Timber Mill.
Construction of new senior housing units in Toormina
It will be decided whether a DA for 51 new senior housing units, car parking and admin offices in Toormina will be approved. Located on Marion Pl, the site currently contains aged care accommodation.
Development of a concept plan for the boat ramp?
As Corporate Manager of the Coffs Coast State Park Trust, Council will need to decide whether to support the vision of the Coffs Harbour Regional Boat Ramp Precinct Enhancement Committee in moving forward to develop a concept plan for the precinct.
The committee has approached Council with a proposed three stage process to make their vision reality hopefully.
For the full council agenda for the Tursday 12 April 2018 meeting – See: