An accessible jetty and launching ramp, a new playground, an updated amenities building and new parking area at Saltwater Park are among many improvements underway or planned in the Coffs Creek Remediation Project.
Six main programmes of works are included in the Project which is expected to be completed over the next two years. These are:
- the upgrade of the retaining wall at the North Creek entrance to create a new stepped wall on the northern side of Coffs Creek adjacent to Park Beach Reserve.
- upgrades to Saltwater Park;
- upgrade of the boat ramp at Edgar Street to allow for increased recreational use by small unpowered craft, fishing and swimming;
- upper catchment remediation works for the management of rural land use and revegetation of creek banks to enhance water quality;
- extension and upgrade of the retaining wall and walkway adjacent to Dolphin Marine Magic; and
- development of a plan to improve overall Creek stormwater management and water quality.
Current estimates forecast that the total cost of the works required for the works is $2,385,000. Of that amount, a total of $540,000 has been proposed in the 2018/19 Draft Operational Plan and Draft Budget, which will be considered by Council in June 2018. Securing of the remaining funds is dependent upon successful grant applications.
The viability of two other projects was also assessed during the scoping phase for the Coffs Creek Remediation Project. These were potentially dredging the lower reaches of the creek to create deep water recreation areas and removing the old roadway under the existing railway bridge to widen the neck of the Creek.
However, after consultation, the NSW Department of Primary Industries made clear that it would not support dredging as it is not allowable for recreational purposes in a Habitat Protection Zone of the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Studies have also indicated that shallow water at the mouth of the creek is its natural state and any sand removed would be quickly replaced through natural processes.
Current available studies do not support the widening of the creek if the intent is to mitigate flood impacts. However a further study to identify what the impact of widening the creek might be on sand accumulation could be conducted.