PORT Macquarie MP Leslie Williams has confirmed she will push for funding to undertake a tidal pool feasibility study.
At its May 16 meeting, Port Macquarie-Hastings councillors voted to place on the record that a tidal pool is not a priority for council.
Council advised the tidal pool committee, which sought financial support for a feasibility study into its proposal, to make future requests, submissions and grant applications through council's engagement processes.
Mrs Williams said there is strong community support for a tidal pool with more than 18,000 people signing a petition for a pool to be established in Port Macquarie.
“The tidal pool issue has also been identified as one of the top local priorities on my online community survey over the past month,” Mrs Williams said.
“The Port Macquarie Tidal Pool has been a hotly debated subject amongst the community and Local Government for a number of years with Council originally approving the development back in 1991. Regretfully during this period factors of economics and indecision sadly resulted in the projects collapse.
I am investigating options for funding for a feasibility study and have written to and met with the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro requesting serious consideration be given to the provision of financial support to advance the proposed tidal pool.Leslie Williams MP
“Today, passionate community advocates like Kathryn Butler, Fred O’Toole and the Port Macquarie Tidal Pool Committee are continuing to champion the push for a tidal pool to ensure the safety and welfare of residents and holiday makers are protected when swimming at the beach,” Mrs Williams said.
“Although the Tidal Pool Committee has recently experienced some setbacks with council back flipping on their advocacy for this worthy project, the Committee continues to push forward with support from the community.”
Mrs Williams said council’s decision to declare a tidal pool not a priority for the community was disappointing.
“I put on the public record my appreciation of the consistent approach by the now Mayor of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Peta Pinson, who continues to support and back the community on this issue,” she said.
“The council originally supported a motion in April this year to write to me to seek funding from the NSW government. Despite their change of heart just a month later, I am investigating options for funding for a feasibility study and have written to and met with the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro requesting serious consideration be given to the provision of financial support to advance the proposed tidal pool.
“I can assure the community and the Committee that they have my unwavering support and congratulate everyone involved for continuing to forge ahead with their ambitious proposal for a tidal pool despite ongoing challenges and obstacles,” Mrs Williams said.