The announcement of over $900,000 in grant funding to improve public safety in Toormina and Coffs Harbour city centre has been welcomed by Mayor Councillor Denise Knight.
CCTV cameras and associated security lighting is to be installed at Toormina Sports Precinct, a car park and streets in the CBD thanks to an Australian Government Safer Communities Fund grant of $901,100 for the SafeCoffs project.
“We’ve been working very closely with locals, community organisations, businesses and sports groups in these areas which have, unfortunately, become hot spots for crime and antisocial behaviour in recent years,” she said.
“Installing CCTV and security lighting will go a very long way to making people feel safer in the future and will help cultivate family-friendly and welcoming spaces where fears of crime or intimidation are no longer a barrier to people’s enjoyment.”
The cameras and lighting are to be put into City Square, Park Avenue Car Park, Park Avenue Lane, Toormina Oval, Skate Park and Velodrome where they will be a deterrent to offenders while also enabling more successful police investigations through easier identification. Better lighting will also improve public safety.
CBD business owners and members of the community had reported that safety fears were causing people to avoid the area, particularly at night.
The Toormina Sports Precinct has been the target of vandalism and anti-social behaviour with damage occurring across the site at the Velodrome, Skate Park and Toormina Oval. Fears have been expressed by the community about the use of the spaces , which has impacted pn local sports groups, shopping centre users and Toormina Library, as well as youth skaters and Girl Guides.
“Council is also currently resurfacing and upgrading the Skate Park through a $50,000 grant and – coupled with the new CCTV and lighting – we’re aiming on returning this facility back to the community,” added Cr Knight.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing families, youth and the whole community enjoying these spaces in the future.”
The grant will fund works at the Velodrome, Toormina Skate Park and Toormina Oval during 2018-2019 and in City Square, Park Avenue Car Park and Park Avenue Lane in 2019-2020.