Council goes to water

HOW should Grafton residents make the most of the Clarence River?

That's the question Clarence Valley councillors will face today when they discuss whether to fund and develop an $80,000 concept plan for the Grafton Waterfront Precinct in the 2009/10 budget.

Mayor Richie Williamson said that if adopted, the plan would look at how utilise the waterfront land from Queen Street to the Grafton Bridge, including the development of walkways and commercial projects.

“It has the potential to be an exciting project,” Cr Williamson said. “It's something people have talked about for a long time.”

He acknowledged the budget was going to be tight and council may not be able to fund the plan this year.

“It could be split over two years, or we might decide not to include it in this year's draft budget at all,” he said.

The Grafton Waterfront Precinct idea was first floated in the Clarence River Master plan, which was adopted by council last year.

Council deputy general manager Des Schroder said the master plan indicated the river was not used to its potential and looked at ways to utilise the region's largest resource.

The area from Queen Street to Grafton Bridge includes a lot of private land.

Mr Schroder said council could not consider rezoning any areas without a concept plan of what the river front should look like and its use.

“We need to look at how to make the best use of the river front,” he said.



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