THE foreshore reserve at Lake Cathie is set to start beating as the heart of the community with a $280,000 upgrade investment.
The construction of new walkways, additional outdoor shade and recreational facilities will commence over the coming months, thanks to funding provided by the federal government under the Federal Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
Announcing the Federal contribution to the project, Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said the funding injection will allow Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to proceed with stage 2 works of the Lake Cathie Foreshore Reserve Master Plan.
"This is good news for Lake Cathie. This is a community hub this precinct here - every weekend and every school holidays," Dr Gillespie said.
"Council is always after funds and we announced before the budget, but funded in the budget, a $500 million program for local roads and community infrastructure.
"Coming out of COVID, if you've got good community infrastructure particularly in these tourism-holiday destinations, more people come.
"There's $280,000 out of that program going to the council to deliver extra footpaths, a shower, shade cloth for the play area and some furniture.
"It's a really good area that will be made even better."
The Lake Cathie community identified the preferred inclusions for the foreshore redevelopment in the Vision 2030 Plan Survey.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has included the Lake Cathie foreshore reserve master plan and the construction of a skate park facility in its 2020-21 operational plan.
Mayor Peta Pinson welcomed the $500 million funding program for the region which will also target projects including a new bus shelter and landing pad at 1459 Ocean Drive, Lake Cathie to improve access to the medical centre, chemist and hydrotherapy pool.
"Connected walking paths, bubbler, seating and shade will make a real difference in improving accessibility of the playground, plus the installation of an outdoor shower will improve connection with aquatic activities," Cr Pinson said.
"It's not lost on us at council that without state and federal funding we can't deliver all the things our community really needs and wants."
Cr Pinson praised the work of the Council and Community Action Team (CCAT) in prioritising their needs.
"This is a beautiful area and with the money that is coming and the work our council staff has done in the planning, this is going to be revitalised and refreshed," the mayor said.
"Let's not lose the vision for this area down here."
Monica Robinson from the Lake Cathie Skate Park Committee welcomed the "fantastic" news.
"The foreshore works will just tie it all in and create a space for all ages here," she said.
Vern Warner, president of the Lake Cathie Progress Association, said the community coming together to make decisions for the region's future was important.
"The population is expected to double here in the next 10 years. It's important we work with council and the state and federal governments to ensure we have the infrastructure we need," Mr Warner said.
Terry McDermott, CCAT member and president of the Liberal Party, said Lake Cathie is not just a quiet place for older people to settle anymore. It is a vibrant small community for young families.
"When we all work together we can then look at some of the bigger issues including the lake, fixing the bridge and the revetment wall which are all priorities," he said.
In May, the Australian Government announced a new $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI Program) with $1.8 million allocated to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
The budget announcement also extended the LCRI Program, with council receiving an additional $3.4 million.
This LCRI program supports councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia, supporting jobs and the resilience of local economies to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.