After months of discussion and community input, Central Coast Council has finally voted to match State government funding of $2,938,600 and proceed with construction of a controversial boardwalk at Terrigal, with several conditions.
Councillors voted on June 24 to enter into an agreement with Restart NSW, which will provide $2.938m from the Regional Growth Environment and Tourism fund, with Council’s 50/50 commitment to include $1.648m already collected from the Terrigal Tourism/Business Development Rate.
The boardwalk, which has divided community opinion since the offer of State funding was first made, has been the subject of several motions and sometimes heated debate at Council meetings over recent months.
Prime concerns raised by opponents of the plan included engineering considerations and loss of amenity around the rock face.
But Mayor, Jane Smith, said that at the end of the day, the boardwalk would offer all inclusive access between Terrigal Town Centre and The Haven for pedestrians.
“Council has listened to the community and made some changes to the design of the proposed boardwalk to ensure minimal adverse environmental impacts associated with construction and future use,” she said.
“Council will also investigate any heritage significance of the rock platform and work with the funding body to accommodate any heritage considerations.
“I can certainly understand both sides of the debate and this has been a difficult matter for me, and for certain other councillors.
“But we believe we have addressed most of the concerns raised.”
The motion to proceed, which was passed by councillors 8-6, outlines various conditions which include: The tender to be for a fixed price (so no cost blowouts); the rock platform to remain accessible; no vegetation or rock face to be intentionally removed and minimal stabilisation and remediation to the rock face; orientation and location of piers to ensure no encroachment on the rock shelf located within the tidal waters between The Haven and the Terrigal Beach point.
In order to maintain natural tidal movement of water at the western end of The Haven beach, the design of the Boardwalk decking will be extended as far as practical to the corner of the building designated as the Sailing Club, minimising the proposed extension of the sandstone retaining wall.
Access will be provided via steps from the boardwalk to the rock platform at the cliff outcrop and materials will be selected to minimise shading of the macroalgae beds in the intertidal areas.
The motion was carried with councillors, Rebecca Gale Collins, Jilly Pilon, Bruce McLachlan, Chris Holstein, Chris Burke, Troy Marquart, Greg Best and the Mayor voting in favour, and councillors, Lisa Matthews, Richard Mehrtens, Jess Sundstrom, Louise Greenaway, Doug Vincent and Jillian Hogan. against.
Clr Greenaway said she couldn’t support the “destruction of the headland” which would happen if the boardwalk went ahead, but Clr Collins said she supported the majority of residents who wanted the boardwalk, not the “noisy minority”.
Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, has welcomed the decision.
“This decision is clearly what the majority of our community wanted,” he said.
“Eighty one per cent of residents who were surveyed by Council support the boardwalk.
“This is in addition to 2,000 residents who signed my petition to help secure the funding commitment in 2018.
“I look forward to Council getting on with the job of delivering the boardwalk and nearby rock pool as quickly as possible.”
Agenda item 4.3
Central Coast Council Ordinary Meeting, Jun 24
Media release, Jun 24
Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch
Interview, Jun 25
Central Coast Mayor, Jane Smith
Reporter: Terry Collins