THERE has been no progress to begin work on a planned upgrade of Port Macquarie's popular breakwall four years after concept designs were first revealed.
The breakwall is a NSW Government asset. Responsibility recently transferred from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to Transport for NSW.
In August 2016, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council released concept plans for the works on behalf of the department.
The concept plans were designed to maximise the use of the breakwall, which is popular for visitors and locals.
The Port Macquarie breakwall development was recently listed in the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council July 2020 meeting agenda under advocacy projects.
The agenda outlined a proposal for council to advocate the NSW Government to design and deliver an upgrade, using council concept plan as a foundation.
The COVID-19 Recovery Working Group, which brought together community leaders and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council teams, has worked since April to identify priority initiatives, projects and actions to help the community successfully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A report is due to the August 12 council meeting outlining projects which can start with identified funding.
Port Macquarie-Hastings councillor Geoff Hawkins is chairman of the Port Macquarie Town Centre Master Plan Sub-committee (TCMP) and labelled the breakwall as being an important artery into and out of the Port Macquarie CBD.
Cr Hawkins said the committee would like to support the development as a higher priority project and see it completed.
A number of residents, along with Cr Hawkins, have raised pedestrian safety concerns along the breakwall.
Cr Hawkins, who walks regularly along the foreshore with his wife, has witnessed two accidents due to its current condition.
One accident involved a little girl on a skateboard and another impacted a young mum pushing a pram.
Cr Hawkins said the gap between the rocks and the pathway is widening and can be dangerous, especially at peak times with many users enjoying the breakwall.
Port Macquarie mum Sarah Sales has three young children.
Mrs Sales would love to see the breakwall be upgraded.
"The children would enjoy riding their bikes all the way round to the Town Green (from Town Beach)," she said.
Mrs Sales raised concerns about safety due to the breakwall's current condition. She said there are big cracks and holes between the rocks and the pathway itself.
Mrs Sales walks along the breakwall at least three times a week and said it's important people get behind an upgrade for the infrastructure.
Newcastle couple Cathy and Rodney Taylor acknowledged the breakwall could get busy during the holiday periods, such as Easter and Christmas. They would like to see it widened and extended.
Port Macquarie local Jess Houston enjoys running along the breakwall and will slow down to overtake people.
She said it would be great if the pathway was widened, as there is not enough space at the moment for people to walk side by side.
The 20-year-old is wary of the gaps at the side of the breakwall, which she said present a danger when running.
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