OPINION: State Government sell off, not a vision for Coffs Harbour Opinion by News Of The Area - Modern Media - July 10, 2022 DEAR News Of The Area, THIS year, Coffs Harbour received ‘Eco-destination’ certification. It’s one of two destinations in Australia (the other being Port Douglas) to be given the certification. It recognises both the community engagement with the environment including traditional cultural connections as well as the physical natural beauty and its protection. So one would think that enhancing that certification and protecting it would be high on the agenda. Instead the NSW State LNP government has a parcel of ex-railway land beside the harbour adjoining the parkland promenade that is the foreshore of the harbour and it wants to sell it off. In order to get the best price it commissioned a second survey (the first survey didn’t give them the answers they wanted) and restricted the parameters to what type of high rise do you want? The land in question is within the known buffer of predicted sea level rise impact, adjoins the longest established land care project and is enjoyed and used by locals, tourists and the fishing industry as well as by whale watchers, recreational boaters, Police Rescue, surfers, bike riders, and Sunday marketers. Muttonbird Island bookends the northern end and is a protected habitat for migrating birds and a vantage point for land based whale watching. The harbour has year round daily ocean swimmers, yachtsmen, dragon boat paddlers etc. ‘But if only we had some high rise hotel accomodation right there on the foreshore’ I hear you say, ‘that would enhance our eco destination certification’. Or maybe, you could stay close by and walk or bike ride or drive down to the harbour and enjoy it just the same. Develop the area with more eco destination type enhancements, but not more high rise accommodation. This is not just a Coff Harbour fight. It’s for people who value nature over development. The current proposal is a state government sell off, not a vision. Regards, Peter LEWIS, Coffs Harbour.