Bipartisan support for Jetty Foreshores revitalisation on show

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh and NSW Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper at the Jetty Foreshores on Tuesday.

NSW MINISTER for Lands and Property Steve Kamper declared on Tuesday the State Government is “standing shoulder-to-shoulder” with Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh to deliver plans for the revitalisation of the Jetty Foreshores precinct.

Despite intense opposition from the City of Coffs Harbour in recent months, including an attempt to purchase the foreshore land, Mr Kamper joined Mr Singh on site this week to discuss the project the Labor Minister describes as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for the region.

Coffs DenturesAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

With recent Budget Estimates discussions revealing NSW Government plans for the revitalisation of the precinct could include a maximum of 250 residential dwellings and 200 short stay units being built in the precinct, there is still much division locally as to the best way forward for the foreshore site.

Acknowledging the work done by the former Coalition government to further the project in the past few years, the State Government says “bipartisan support” will help deliver a “20-year shared community vision to connect community with country”.

Mr Kamper said the revitalisation of the foreshore will deliver jobs, economic and tourism benefits and much-needed housing.

The State Government says the precinct masterplan was informed by more than 3600 responses from the community and will create a ‘self-sustaining, cost-neutral precinct’ that reinvests all proceeds into improving the foreshore’s public areas to create a family friendly area that everyone can enjoy, including renewal of parklands, and better recreational facilities.

“We will not develop any foreshore land here for profit, and all funds generated will be reinvested into the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshore Precinct to revitalise the land to create a family-friendly precinct with a focus on parks and places that are attractive, safe and lively,” Mr Kamper said.

In a statement this week, the NSW Government described much of the precinct as “currently inaccessible for public enjoyment”, citing gravelled areas used to provide overflow parking which “do not reflect the potential of this foreshore land”.

The Government claims the revitalisation will include additional homes to address the housing crisis, an expansion of tourism and hospitality offerings, an increase in public open space and improved parking.

State MP Gurmesh Singh said as Coffs Harbour had undergone significant change over the years, there was a need to “reimagine its future direction”.

“The majority of people in Coffs Harbour want to see this current site transformed into a thriving destination that attracts tourists, supports local jobs and businesses, addresses housing needs and makes us all proud,” he said.

“It was great to have the Minister in Coffs Harbour today where we could walk over the entire Jetty Foreshores precinct and see the opportunities first hand.

“It’s important to see the Minister offer his support to the revitalisation of the Coffs Jetty Foreshores because this precinct is important to the future of our city – especially with the bypass completion date looming not too far in the future.”

City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Paul Amos remains gobsmacked by the scale of the State Government’s proposal, with up to 450 dwellings potentially destined for the Jetty Foreshores.

“That is equivalent to more than seven Pacific Towers,” said Mayor Amos.

The City has described the plan as “short sighted”, highlighting the additional pressures extra residential dwellings will place on parking at the foreshore.

The City of Coffs Harbour, which claims that Minister Kamper is “regularly unavailable” to meet with Mayor Amos on the issue, claims to have a “bold vision” to optimise the waterfront land.

“These parklands are an essential community meeting place for locals and visitors and the cost of selling them off to commercial hands will haunt us for generations,” Cr Amos said.

“Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

“I’ve had over 11,000 residents elect me as their Mayor but the Minister is prepared to ignore these people and believes he knows it all because of selective responses to a clearly biassed survey.”

The City offered to buy the State Government land at the Foreshores late last year for $6.7 million, offering two inner city blocks suitable for high-rise affordable housing as an additional incentive.

This offer was rejected, with the City now investigating a compulsory acquisition process for the land.

“The State is blinkered on this,” Mayor Amos said.

“I heard on the grapevine that Minister Kamper was in Coffs at the Fishing Club so I went down there to put the community’s side, but was ignored,” he said.

“I’ve also had no cut-through in seeking to work with the NSW Government to see if there’s some common ground from where we might find a solution that is favourable to the community.”

The Labor candidate in last year’s state election and the President of Coffs Harbour Labor, Tony Judge said the community has “every right to feel betrayed” by the State Government’s backflip on an election promise to keep the Jetty Foreshores free from residential development.

“Minister Kamper may be standing shoulder to shoulder with the National Party by continuing with their project, but he has no support in local Labor and he does not stand with the majority of the Coffs Harbour community.”

Mr Judge, who serves as a City of Coffs Harbour councillor, said the project ignores the “genuine and urgent” need for social and affordable housing in Coffs Harbour.

“Instead, it will focus on high-end, high cost multi storey apartments that the vast majority of people in Coffs could never afford.

“The recreational areas of the Jetty Foreshores will be overshadowed by blocks of flats up to six storeys high.

“It flies in the face of decades of decisions by NSW Governments, both Labor and Coalition, to keep public land on our beachfronts free from multi-storey residential.”

A spokesperson for the office of NSW Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper stressed that the final number of dwellings proposed for the Jetty Foreshores precinct will be dependent on community feedback received when the rezoning proposal goes on public exhibition, and again when the development application is exhibited.

Leave a Reply