Have your say on draft Coastal Walk Master Plan

The view from the coastal walk at Windmill Hill.
The view from the coastal walk at Windmill Hill.

Community members will have almost 50 days to have their say on the draft Coastal Walk Master Plan.

The document’s vision is to provide a world class walking track that showcases our magnificent coastline from Westport Park to Tacking Point Lighthouse.

The nine kilometre scenic walking track is a drawcard for residents and visitors but sections are becoming tired and worn.

Some sections are uneven and narrow, and furniture, signs, steps and balustrades are mismatched, non-compliant, degraded and non-existent in some areas.

The draft master plan was developed with consideration given to community feedback from the initial engagement process.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is seeking more input.

Mayor Peta Pinson encouraged the community to get involved.

She said she was looking forward to the community engagement.

“By revisiting that coastal walk and really looking at how we can improve that for the community and visitors alike, I think it will be a real tourism drawcard as well,” she said.

Cr Mike Custo said it was an ongoing project.

“It would be a very iconic walk and an attraction for tourism and economic development,” he said.

Cr Geoff Hawkins said it was significant for tourism and locals.

“I’m looking forward to the results from the community consultation,” he said.

Key initiatives in the draft master plan include path widening and repaving through highly used areas, consistent furniture and treatments, and repairs to pathways, steps and balustrades.

Wayfinding signs are proposed as is a footpath along both sides of Pacific Drive where possible. 

The draft Coastal Walk Master Plan will go on public exhibition for 49 days from August 23 to October 10.

A report will come back to the November council meeting.

There are funds available this financial year for the coastal walk.

Some $157,000 has been carried forward from the 2016/17 financial year for general coastal walk upgrades, $120,000 is allocated to the Flagstaff Hill Reserve walkway renewal and $375,000 is earmarked to the Westport Park river wall and pathway.

The results of applications for the coastal walk through two grant funding programs are outstanding.

The council has already master planned the foreshore walk, from the Buller Street Bridge to the end of the breakwall, Town Beach and Tacking Point and those areas are excluded from this plan.

The draft master plan focuses on Westport Park, Charlie Uptin Walk, Doctors Walk and Kenny Walk. 

Development of a Flynns Beach master plan is due to start shortly.