COFFS Harbour City Council has questioned the lack of references to cultural and community facilities in the State Government’s Draft Regional City Action Plan (RCAP) for Coffs Harbour.
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The Coffs Harbour Draft RCAP has significantly changed from the version Council sited in late 2019, with the removal of references to the Cultural and Civic Space project and the importance of the city centre as the cultural, civic and entertainment heart of the city.
“This is unexpected as it is at odds with numerous NSW Government policy documents that identify culture and cultural facilities as of being significant economic, educational and social wellbeing drivers,” said Council’s Acting Director Sustainable Communities Ian Fitzgibbon.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight said overall the Draft Plan was a very good plan and aligned well with many of Council’s own strategies and aspirations in growing the city as an economic centre that supports strong local employment while providing an attractive coastal lifestyle.
“But one glaring omission is the lack of reference to culture and cultural facilities in the city centre, which is very surprising,” Cr Knight said.
Council has made a submission to the NSW Government on the Draft Plan which highlights the omission of cultural facilities and resourcing implications to implement the final plan, and Council is keen to discuss financial assistance and investment on collaborative projects with the NSW Government.
“I’m very glad to see that the main point of Council’s own submission for the consultation on the Draft Plan highlights this gap and provides some strong arguments for it to be included in the final Plan,” Cr Knight said.
“I know that many locals working in the creative industries are also concerned and have got together and put in their own submissions on the lack of cultural references in the Draft Plan.”
The Plan recognises Coffs Harbour as one of four regional cities on the North Coast, and one that is moving rapidly from being a coastal centre to a key economic, transport and services hub.
The NSW Government’s Draft Coffs Harbour Regional City Action Plan 2036 is open for public consultation until Friday, 31 July on the NSW Planning Portal at www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/coffsharbourrcap, and Council encourages residents to put forward their own views on the plan.
By Emma DARBIN