Coffs Harbour elects Paul Amos as its new Mayor

Former Coffs Harbour Deputy Mayor Paul Amos has been elected as the new Coffs Harbour Mayor, with a large majority of votes. Photo: Coffs Harbour City Council.

 

FORMER Coffs Harbour Deputy Mayor Paul Amos is the new Coffs Harbour City Mayor for the coming three years, after receiving a huge majority of electoral votes.

Final results from the Mayoral vote at the Coffs Harbour Local Government Election on Saturday 4 December were finalised on the morning of Monday 20 December, following the distribution of preference votes.

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Following the distribution of preferences, Cr Paul Amos was elected as Mayor with a total of 15,115 votes, taking out the vote over Rodger Pryce who finished in second place with 9,180 votes and Cr Sally Townley with 7,551 votes.

“They made me Mayor, well what about that!” Paul said excitedly on Monday afternoon when contacted by News Of The Area following the announcement.

Cr Amos said he found out the good news around 9.30am on Monday morning after he was texted by a friend.

“I had an inkling that this might be the eventual outcome,” Paul said, due to his early lead in the Mayoral race during initial vote counts.

Cr Amos said the two most pressing issues for the Coffs Harbour region, which he hopes to address as Mayor, include finding a solution to the region’s waste issue, and the future planning of the popular Jetty Foreshores area.

“We’ve got the immediate issues of our waste and finding a better solution with the way we handle our waste,” he said.

“Our tip has reached the end of its life and carting our rubbish to south east Queensland is not sustainable.

“That’s the number one thing we have to look at.”

Cr Amos said the other “immediate issue” was the future development of the Jetty Foreshores area.

“The immediate issue for me at the moment is that we make sure the Jetty Foreshores has appropriate improvements because at the moment on the table as per our last meeting on Tuesday we were given plans that told us that we were not considering at this point in time anything around the old defunct fishing club, and we were not considering too much at this point in time around the marina centre,” Paul said of a recent Jetty Foreshores Steering Committee meeting.

The Jetty Foreshores Steering Committee was established by the State Government to determine future development at the Jetty Foreshores area.

“We were considering (at the meeting) building envelopes with varying zonings that run along the railway land that are on the east of the railway.

“At this stage the target is to have five stories (buildings) with 240 full time residential units and 60 tourist accommodation units.

“So on that basis, I believe that we would look foolish in 20 years time if we allowed that to happen on that land.”

Cr Amos said instead he would like the Coffs community and the Jetty Foreshores Steering Committee to be presented with some options other than what the Government is planning for the area.

“We seem to be back where we started from,” he said.

“I would like to see associated development that will enhance the area, some commercial development, restaurants, and I would like to see us not back ourselves into a corner where we hoped in 20 years time that we had kept that land for the community.

“The popularity of the Jetty Foreshores area you can see on any weekend is enormous.”

Cr Amos said the parcel of land the NSW Government is looking at developing into residential and tourist units is to the north of the Jetty Foreshores area, which is currently used as a community car park on weekends, and to the east of the railway line.

“If you’ve got buildings that are five stories and more, it is very intimidating for people who are trying to enjoy the parkland and picnicking areas,” he said.

Cr Amos said it was nice to have his hard work on Council acknowledged by the people who voted for him for Mayor.

“It’s some sort of endorsement that I’m on the same wavelength as the general community with a lot of issues,” he said.

“I think everything is positive for Coffs Harbour into the future and I’m very happy and humbled to have the privilege of being the next Mayor.”

A total of 45,155 Formal votes were cast across the Coffs Harbour local government area for the Mayoral election out of 56,687 residential and non-residential electors enrolled to vote in the Coffs Harbour local government area.

Current Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Denise Knight will continue in her position as Mayor until new Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Amos is officially sworn in.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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