Following endorsement at the September Council Meeting, a preferred route for the extension of the Kiama Coast Walk from Gerringong’s Boat Harbour to Black Head at Gerroa is to be lodged with the State Government.
Beyond Black Head, existing public reserves managed by Council would provide links to Seven Mile Beach, the National Park, the Municipality’s southern boundary and potentially further south to Shoalhaven Heads.
“The first step is getting the support of the NSW Government for acquiring the land and funding the project,” says Mike Dowd, Council’s Director Engineering and Works
“This involves applying to the Department of Planning’s Coastal Lands Protection Scheme, which is designed to increase public ownership of important coastal land.
“If successful, the Department will handle all the land acquisition for us, including compensation.”
This is the same way that the section of the Walk from Loves Bay to Werri Lagoon was established.
Of the eight properties crossed by the preferred route for the extension, only three are privately owned.
The remaining five properties are established public reserves or Council land.
Mr Dowd says the extension is one of the highest priorities for Council’s Walking Tracks and Cycleways Committee, and also of the Kiama Tourism Opportunity Plan.
Consultation will be undertaken with land owners, tourism, indigenous and environmental groups, and the wider community.
The process may take some time, as extending the Walk south from Loves Bay took 12 years before opening in 2009.