‘Put the community at the centre of the decision making process through broad, inclusive and transparent consultation.’
By Fran Stephenson & David Jeffrey
This was one of the main objectives of the Jetty Foreshores community consultation carried out by consultancy firm, GHD, during 2017. However, according to local Jetty residents the subsequent Report published in 2018 does not accurately reflect the responses of participants and they ask if the Report simply fits a pre-determined plan for this valuable community space.
The GHD Report states that 3,865 people visited the social pinpoint site a total of 4,454 times and 562 people submitted 1,633 ideas and comments. The published table shows 817 lines of “comments” from the survey and a table of Key Themes and subcategories.
The various ideas attracted about 7,400 “up votes” and almost 4,500 “down votes”.
However, Coffs Jetty Foreshores Group members say that no attempt was made to classify votes as supporting or not supporting an idea and no attempt made to classify the responses into useful topical groups such as “Public Transport”, “Play Parks”, “Food/cafe”, “Shade”, “Fishing Club”, Accommodation”, “High Rise”, “vegetation” etc
In the survey significant community support was demonstrated for improved and new public facilities such as amenities, picnic tables, sporting facilities, pathways, recreation, shade, improved access etc. About 37% of the pinpoint survey responses related to public spaces, facilities and activities. Keeping, maintaining, improving and expanding public spaces and public facilities is the main area of community concern for participants.
The second major issue identified by 22% of pinpoint survey respondents related to commercial development. Apart from good support for more café/food/restaurants there was low or little support for any commercial development including accommodation and low/high/medium rise development.
The survey showed that there is strong support for a general improvement of the whole area including better public transport, additional parking, more picnic & BBQ facilities, more shower/toilet blocks, extra playparks, better shade structures/trees, sporting facilities, pathways, beach maintenance and access.
However, the majority of participants are opposed to commercial development, any accommodation, hotels and development east of the railway line and about 75% voted against medium or high-rise development.
It can be concluded from the survey results that there is good support for the development of public facilities and little support for private development except for cafes and restaurants.
Key strategic objectives for the Jetty Foreshores area listed on the NSW Government Planning website include:
- Address the Premier’s Greener Public Spaces and Greening our City Priorities.
- Achieve positive community outcomes by providing open space areas.
According to the Coffs Jetty Parklands Group the inclusion of commercial development, accommodation, hotels etc. will not meet with these Planning objectives as set down by the State Government or the general requirements of the community and future growth when open space will be key to healthy, happy living.
The above is a media release from the Coffs Jetty Foreshore Parklands Group.
For more information see; www.coffsjettyparkland.com