Council seeking election poll on future of Jetty Foreshores

Council will apply to the Electoral Commission to run a poll in conjunction with the local government elections which asks what the community wants for the future of the Jetty Foreshores. Photo: Gavin Moroney.

CITY of Coffs Harbour will seek to run a poll to determine the community’s feelings on the potential redevelopment of the Jetty Foreshores precinct.

It was resolved at the 9 May meeting that Council apply to the Electoral Commission of NSW to run a poll in conjunction with the Coffs Harbour local government elections on 14 September 2024.

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The estimated cost of $70,000 for this poll will be funded from Council’s Local Government Election draft budget for 2024/25.

Councillors Amos, Cassell, Cecato, Judge, Sechi, Swan, Townley and Wolgamot voted in support of the Mayoral Minute, with Cr Pryce voting against.

“This will answer once and for all what local residents want to see happen at the Jetty Foreshores,” Mayor Amos said.
Speaking against the motion, Cr Rodger Pryce questioned the point of the exercise.

“I don’t get the point of it,” he said.

“This poll is conducted and the outcome of the poll does not have to be adopted by the incoming Council in September.

“So it doesn’t matter how conclusive the outcome of the poll actually is – the incoming Council is not bound by the outcome of that poll at all.”

Cr Pryce also pointed councillors’ attention to two previous surveys taken to gauge community sentiment over the Jetty Foreshores redevelopment – one by GHD and one by Ethos Urban.

“Both those outcomes were similar in some respects,” Cr Pryce said.

A supporter of the state’s masterplan for the Jetty Foreshores due to its potential to improve Coffs Harbour’s tourism offering, Mr Pryce pondered what true alternatives Council had to the NSW Government’s proposal.

“What are the alternatives if the majority say: ‘No, we don’t want residential down there’?

“Where does that leave us?

“Does the NSW Government say: ‘We’ve had enough of all this, see you later. We’ll invest our funds somewhere else’.

“I’m sure that we (Council) don’t have the funds necessary to create anything that is of much importance, or certainly nothing like the current draft plan.”

Cr Pryce reminded councillors that community members and the Council would soon have further opportunity to provide feedback on the potential rezoning of the Jetty Foreshores land.

Councillor Tegan Swan, speaking in support of running a poll, described the concept as “brilliant”.

“There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation around what people want.

“The opportunity to ask them really directly, simply and clearly is something to me that is worth $70,000.”

Council will now await a response from the Electoral Commission.

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