A NEW bridge will make our precious waterfront more pedestrian-friendly in a key move towards a foreshore vision.
Pedestrians will be able to swap the narrow Buller Street bridge over Kooloonbung Creek for a new bridge free of cars after the federal government’s $1 million foreshore injection.
The budget announcement will allow design work to start.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council infrastructure services director Jeffery Sharp said funding of the proposed bridge next to the existing Buller Street bridge and other improvements on the foreshore to enhance pedestrian access would be greatly received.
“The pedestrian access has long been an issue and is the subject of an ongoing study by the Town Centre Master Plan Committee,” he said.
“The committee has been looking at alternatives for improved pedestrian opportunities in keeping with the original study, but without having determined a funding source.”
Mr Sharp said the provision of a bridge across Kooloonbung Creek for pedestrians and cyclists was consistent with the council’s adopted Port Macquarie Foreshore Masterplan and the planning work subsequently undertaken by Crown Lands for the foreshore precinct.
Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott said he was hopeful an injection of federal funds would re-invigorate the beautification plans for what was, without doubt, one of the community’s most prized assets.
“A lot of good people participated in good faith in planning meetings to develop the council’s foreshore masterplan,” he said.
“That work hasn’t been forgotten at a federal level and I hope the budget allocation reflects a broader commitment to make the project happen.”
Port Macquarie-Hastings Foreshore Protection Association’s Jaci Cartwright said the federal government funding was fabulous news for the community.
She said a pedestrian bridge over Kooloonbung Creek would tie the two areas together in a link which was seen to be of great importance.
Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce president Rob Turner agrees.
He said a stand-alone bridge would provide a real link between the Settlement City precinct and the CBD and bring a lot more people into town.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams is keen for the foreshore vision to be realised.
“What I will be seeking now from Andrew Stoner once the plan of management for Westport Park has been approved is that our attention turn to reinvigorating our beautiful Port Macquarie foreshore, which the community has wanted to see happen since 2006,” she said.
“It is important that we all share the same vision for the foreshore and that the draft plan of management previously prepared by council go back on public exhibition so that we can now finally move forward.”