Time for change in Nelson Bay is NOW
A NEW advocacy group has emerged in Nelson Bay with the primary objective to give this long established tourism destination a complete makeover.
Nelson Bay NOW was formed earlier this month, calling on the Port’s leading political, business, tourism, social and community groups to unite as one in their push to revitalize the Bay.
At its inaugural meeting held on August 4 in the Tomaree Business Chamber offices, president Ryan Palmer outlined the group’s pressing need for change.
“The key reason for calling this meeting was to form a united and cohesive advocacy group of Bay people who are concerned about the current state of Nelson Bay and its future growth,” Mr Palmer said.
“The Nelson Bay CBD needs a complete makeover in relation to traffic and parking, as well as overall planning.”
Mr Ryan said that a major concern among business owners was the level of interest from Port Stephens Council and how any proposed future amalgamation would play out.
Some of the issues raised at the meeting included the future development of the two key carparks in the CBD; the potential for an expansion of paid parking; the proposed extension of Yacaaba Street; and the lack of long term planning for the CBD and foreshore.
“There is serious concerns about the sad and uninspiring state of town presentation and, in particular, not meeting visitor [and local] expectations. The CBD needs activation and rejuvenation,” Mr Ryan said.
“We want to know what level of funding has accumulated from paid parking fees on the foreshore and if those funds are being put back into the Bay.”
Other interest groups represented at the meeting included commercial property owners, Tomaree Residents & Ratepayers Association, Destination Port Stephens, the tourism industry and d’Alboras marinas.
By Charlie ELIAS (Story and Photo)