Transport for NSW will be partnering with Kiama Council to develop what is hoped will become a new model for improving regional harbours across the state.
In announcing the project, the Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said, “We will be developing a strategic framework to identify opportunities to enhance connectivity between the harbour precinct and Kiama town centre, Sydney and other regional areas.
“The framework will guide future investment in Kiama Harbour by aligning maritime infrastructure and land management opportunities with local, State and Federal government priorities.
“It will identify short, medium and long term opportunities for revitalisation, including potential infrastructure enhancements for recreational and commercial vessel operators.
“Input from Kiama residents and business operators will be crucial, and it is hoped that the final framework will provide a model for planning the future direction of other small harbours along the NSW coast.”
The project will review and refresh the 2014 Kiama Harbour and Blowhole Point Master Plan [only as it pertains to the harbour precinct], with the Department of Marine Infrastructure utilising the skill and expertise of a number of government departments, including the State Architect’s Office.
“Many elements of the Masterplan have been carried out – and we now need to build on these achievements to deliver a vision for the precinct,” says Council’s Economic Development Manager, Megan Hutchison.
“This will involve updating the design directions and infrastructure improvement works to facilitate the community aspirations for this iconic location.
“The Masterplan identified a number of spaces that might have the potential for commercial activity, and a number spaces that were currently underutilised and could be improved upon.”
She explains the project clearly aligns with the Government’s regional investment priorities as identified in the NSW Maritime Infrastructure Plan 2019-2024 and the 2019 NSW Marine Tourism Strategy; and locally the 2014 Kiama Economic Development Strategy, the 2018 Kiama Tourism Opportunities Plan, and more recently the Kiama Town Centre Study.
“It really is an alignment of the planets that we are benefiting from, after years of lobbying by Council’s Economic Development Committee.
The activation of this precinct will deliver positive and long lasting economic, social and environmental benefits to this region.”
Ms Hutchison is expecting the councillors to be briefed in the next two to three weeks.
“Once the State Government have appointed the consultants for the project, they will be coming down to consult broadly with the public.”
The cost of the project, which is being borne by the State Government, has not been released.
The focus on maritime infrastructure restricts the study to Black Beach and the harbour precinct (above), the majority of which is land owned by the State.
It is expected this project will be a blueprint and pilot study for how the State Government can revitalise recreational harbours along the NSW coast.
“It will roll out a strategy on how we can implement the plan and a framework for overcoming complex issues,” says Ms Hutchison.
“We are hoping for some high level drawings on how it can look and feel.”