North Side Progress Association starts work at historic Coal Wharf

Here it comes: Members of the North Side Progress Association including president Kingsley Searle, left, starting work on a new fire pit at the historic Coal Wharf site. Other members to help with the work on Saturday included, Carla and Greg McKearn, Narelle Milligan, Viv Searle, Steve, Celia and Simon Kershaw, Steve and Jo Taylor, Gordon and Beverley Dick, Rosslyn Galbraith and Brian O'Meara, Kim Wall and Warren Bailey.

Here it comes: Members of the North Side Progress Association including president Kingsley Searle, left, starting work on a new fire pit at the historic Coal Wharf site. Other members to help with the work on Saturday included, Carla and Greg McKearn, Narelle Milligan, Viv Searle, Steve, Celia and Simon Kershaw, Steve and Jo Taylor, Gordon and Beverley Dick, Rosslyn Galbraith and Brian O'Meara, Kim Wall and Warren Bailey.

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The North Side Progress Association has started work on the first of two, and possibly three, fire pits at the historic Coal Wharf site.

The work got underway on Saturday afternoon with association members pitching in to undertake the project.

Association president Kingsley Searle said the plans for the historic site and the wider foreshore area were designed to increase usage by local families and visitors.

“The more this area is used, the less likely it is to be vandalised,” he said.

With the area previously used for indiscriminate fires, the association believes installing the fire pits will encourage more appropriate use of the historic site.

“We looked at what people were doing in this space and saw that they were all having camp fires. The installation of the fire pits will provide a more controlled environment,” Mr Searle said.

“Clearly, blocking it (the area) off was not working at all.

“The association really wants more people to come down and utilise this place. It’s a fabulous area.”

Grants from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will be used to install two and possibly three fire pits. A federal grant through Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker will be used to build an undercover area in the future.

The historic Coal Wharf dates back to the very early days of settlement in Port Macquarie. The area was used as a depot for coal deposits for the area, with ships refuelling from the wharf.

The association says it will push ahead with its plans to create a linked walkway from the Settlement Point ferry to the Coal Wharf park.

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