Waterfront plan debated

FOLLOWING overwhelming public support the Clarence Valley Council has recommended adopting a concept plan for Grafton’s Waterfront Precinct at the meeting of its economic committee this week.

The plan outlines a revitalisation program for the Grafton river bank between Queen Street and the Grafton Bridge that was on public exhibition earlier this year.

According to CVC papers, 87 submissions supported the plan, which included those with specific issues that could be addressed at the detailed design stage. Sixteen respondents did not support it.

Comments by supporters for the plan included Penny Gibson’s “Jolly good show”, and Sharon Coughey’s “When do you start?”, through to Sheree Ricketts’ “Great. It’s what Grafton is missing. We need to utilise the river more and what a perfect start”.

Chris Reeves added: “At last! I love it. Let’s not argue, whinge or be negative for once. Just do it.”

Some comments were made with the recent floods in mind. R.J. Weakley thought the plan was a waste because “it will just get flooded away”.

F. Johnson agreed, thinking it was a “pure waste of ratepayers’ funds,” because of flooding.

Many comments against the plan thought that roads in the Clarence Valley were a higher priority.

Bill Turnbull would prefer his rates to be “spent on kerbing and guttering”. G.L. O’Halloran wanted to know “why the roads around Grafton weren’t fixed first?”

Lyn Campbell said there were “plenty of other ways to spend money more wisely,” and “the bridge” was first on the list.

The Dragon Boat Club felt that access for its 13-metre long car and trailer configurations were not catered for in the plan.

And the chairman of the Susan and Elizabeth Island trust, Greg Clancy, was “disappointed that the [trust] was not consulted during the preparation of the master plan as members could have provided valuable background”.

The plan is part of the Clarence River Way program that aims to identify Grafton as a “river city”. The plan hopes to make Grafton’s Waterfront Precinct “a place of character and quality, creating both a tourism asset and a boost to Grafton’s amenity”.

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