JAG spokesman Ashley Love displays a map of the area covered by his organisation's proposals.
JAG spokesman Ashley Love displays a map of the area covered by his organisation's proposals. Rob Wright

JAG: Current Jetty Foreshores process another 'Glasshouse'

ORIGINAL Jetty Action Group spokesman Ashley Love believes the most recently announced Foreshores planning process could lead to the sacking of Coffs Harbour City Council.

Speaking at today's alternative launch on the same Harbourside Markets site where a series of concepts were delivered on February 17, Love likened the "council and stakeholders" approach to the Glasshouse issues that appeared in the Willan Inquiry and contributed to the sacking of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in 2008.

"The Jetty Action Group is extremely concerned about the planning process that is being applied to the Jetty Foreshores by the Coffs Harbour City Council and indeed, applied in some degree at least to the CBD Masterplan as well," he said.

"That process involving nominating a small group of specially-selected people into a process with tightly constructed rules, leads to developing a strong sense of loyalty and ownership to the report.

"And as the judge who investigated Port Macquarie-Hastings Council over the Glasshouse issue said, the process corrupted the whole community and was a major reason why the Glasshouse project was such a disaster and a major reason why the council was sacked.

"We believe that if Coffs Harbour City Council continues to proceed down a pathway of using that process for the Jetty Foreshores, it may well lead to the sacking of the council."

Compared to public response to the February 17 gathering, today's market meeting was much lower key.

The original display of visionary ideas had hundreds queuing up to enter a tent where plans were on display, whereas JAG's launch attracted several dozen onlookers in the 45-minute period of The Coffs Coast Advocate's visit.

However, today's meeting had a major advantage in that ideas being put forward are already online.

"We knew we had to become more tech aware and have gone down that path to get the message out," Love added.

JAG is proposing three main alternative visions for the area.

The first emphasises implementation of the outstanding actions and strategies in the current Jetty Foreshores Plan of Management.

The second vision relates to infrastructure needs and encourages Coffs Harbour City Council to take a leadership role in taking a proposal to the Federal Government to match the State Government's current commitment to harbour maintenance.

Finally, the third vision relates to council also taking a leadership role in encouraging redevelopment of the Crown land occupied by State Government buildings at the Jetty strip.

Copies of the vision options have been posted on the Jetty Action Group's Facebook page or are available by emailing a request to jettyactiongroup@live.com