AIR has been breathed back into the push for the construction of a tidal pool in Port Macquarie with the announcement of a $50,000 state government grant to conduct a feasibility study.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams made the announcement at Town Beach on December 4.
Despite Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in May openly stating a tidal pool is not an operational priority, adding that it is a significant community asset that will require ongoing funding, the push for the project has continued.
The local member has pushed for the study to determine if the pool can in fact be built, and if so, where. She said council’s decision to declare a tidal pool not a priority for the community was disappointing.
More than 18,000 residents have signed a petition driven by the Tidal Pool Committee in support of the campaign. Mayor Peta Pinson has supported the committee and its efforts to explore possible options with the two preferred sites being Town Beach and Flynns Beach.
If that study finds that a pool cannot be built, then so be it.Leslie Williams MP
Read more: New push for tidal pool
“A local tidal pool has been on the drawing board for many years and to finally see some positive action on the proposal is very welcome news indeed,” Mrs Williams said.
“I have met many times with members of the Tidal Pool Committee and am encouraged by their unwavering energy in trying to achieve this much-needed community facility.
“First and foremost is the need for a feasibility study to be undertaken to determine if a pool can actually be built and to identify the most suitable location.
“If that study finds that a pool cannot be built, then so be it.”
There are 100 recognised tidal pools in NSW with the closest to Port Macquarie being the Forster baths, established in 1936.
More comment and community reaction to come.