Sandy Beach opens Youth Space and Community Hub

City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Paul Amos, Chairman of the Regional Park Trust Board Rod McKelvey and Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh with the commemorative plaque on the bench at Sandy Beach Youth Space and Community Hub.

DEVELOPING and delivering Sandy Beach Youth Space and Community Hub, which officially opened on Sunday 23 July, is the result of teamwork.

For the local community to have its say as one voice they formed the Sandy Beach Action Group (SANDBAG), through which it worked with three key stakeholders: the Coffs Coast Regional Park Trust Board, the NSW Government and City of Coffs Harbour (CoCH) which jointly funded the $1.325m project.

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The development is part of the Sandy Beach Masterplan which is driven by CoCH.

“The playground is the icing on the cake,” SANDBAG Chair, Peter Quiddington told News Of The Area.

“Council approached us with the masterplan in 2017 and since then, together, we’ve created a walkway with protective plantings and new fencing around the Reserve.

“The playground is a major development and will make a great difference to the area.

“Sandy Beach has never had anything for the younger kids, and already it’s been a great success”, having been opened to locals a few days prior to the official opening on Sunday.

The space includes a playground with a dual-flying fox with an accessible option, slides from a cubbyhouse tower, accessible carousel, balance beams and posts, a seesaw and other play elements aimed at toddlers to young kids.

In addition, there is a mini skate park, multi-purpose basketball court, shade sails, a shared cycle/pathway, barbecues, seating and shelters – all linked by connecting pathways and landscaping.

“I’m delighted to see this fantastic new Youth Space and Community Hub at Sandy Beach,” said City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Paul Amos.

“Not only is it a vibrant, fun and welcoming meeting place for Sandy Beach families, youth and visitors, but it’s the very first community facility this lovely village has ever had.

“I’ve been blown away by the quality of the new facilities – and the people who can be most proud of this achievement are the Sandy Beach residents.

“They have been involved with this project from the get-go and provided heaps of input.

“Locals of all ages – from the Sandy Beach Public School students right through to seniors – have been engaged and supportive at every stage of the consultation process.”

Sandy Beach Reserve forms part of the Coffs Coast Regional Park.

The Trust Board is responsible for control and management of the Regional Park.

Implementation of park management is shared between the City of Coffs Harbour and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Board.

Chairman of the Regional Park Trust Board Rod McKelvey observed to NOTA, “Children’s lives have changed over the last few generations, and they aren’t allowed to roam so freely.

“Sandy Beach is lucky to have a long, unspoiled beach, but kids need other activities to get them off the couch, off their screens, and meeting friends outside of school.

“It’s a meeting place for all ages, a destination to wander to and stop for a chat.

“I have no doubt this youth space and community hub will be a resounding success, based on the amount of use already of the completed sections, including the concrete path, skate park and basketball half court.”

Rod continued, “Sandy Beach has always needed a facility like this.

“The relatively small blocks and narrow roads aren’t compatible with active kids and adults. “Back in 2004, a couple of ladies asked me, as a councillor at a community meeting, when can we get an active space for our kids to play?

“When the Regional Park Trust Board started talking about a facility like this, I couldn’t help but hope those ladies are seeing their wish come true, although so much later.”

Rod’s opinion is that this Coffs Coast Regional Park model for National Parks is brilliant.

“The Park’s Trust Board is responsible for the trust funds, care, and control of the Park, and is answerable to the Director General.

“It oversees all planning and works, and provides a forum for community input.

“It facilitates joint management with Council and National Parks through a Memorandum of Understanding.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the official opening is another proud moment for the Northern Beaches.

“The Sandy Beach Youth Space and Community Hub reflects the true meaning of working together to achieve an outstanding facility for everyone in our community to enjoy,” said Mr Singh.

“This community-driven project has transformed Sandy Beach Reserve into an inclusive, activated and fun public space for people to come together, to relax, and to play, now and into the future.”


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