Beach2Beach Riverwalk project overlooked again by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

VOLUNTEER-BUILT: The Beach2Beach Riverwalk project includes accessible shared pathways, artworks, historical and cultural signage from Dunbogan to North Haven. PHOTO: Beach2Beach Facebook page

VOLUNTEER-BUILT: The Beach2Beach Riverwalk project includes accessible shared pathways, artworks, historical and cultural signage from Dunbogan to North Haven. PHOTO: Beach2Beach Facebook page

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The Beach2Beach Riverwalk team is fuming over the absence of any funding for the next financial year from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in the 2017-2018 draft operational plan.

The volunteer committee is building the shared walk-cycle way from Dunbogan to North Haven, creating a crucial accessible pathway for locals and visitors to get out and actively explore the Camden Haven River foreshore.

President of Beach2Beach Riverwalk (B2B), Andy McCoubrie, wrote to the council expressing disappointment the draft operational plan contains no specific funding for footpaths in the Camden Haven.

“For three years now, the B2B executive has made submissions to the Operational Plan to request the Beach to Beach Riverwalk be considered as a budgeted item,” Mr McCoubrie said.

“For four years a total of $344 million has been budgeted for capital works and B2B has not been included for any of it. One half of one percent of this budget would have seen this project finished long ago.”

The B2B project has received overwhelming support from the Camden Haven community and 150 volunteers have actively planned, sought funding, fundraised, and built sections of the pathway.

Initially, Mr McCoubrie said, the council supported the project by injecting a $20,000 placemaking grant which was used to build the first 200m of pathway in the Dunbogan Reserve. State and Federal grants have boosted significant funds raised by the community to see sections of the 11km pathway realised. Support from the council since has been in the form of building some sections that required extra engineering. These sections have been funded by the B2B team via government grants.

The committee has made a submission to the council’s draft plan, on exhibition until May 18, requesting $500,000 be allocated in the operational plan for 2017-2018 and a further $250,000 each year for two years following. This would see the project completed.

B2B will soon commence an active campaign to raise the profile of the project and question why the council has not committed to the pathways.

Mr McCoubrie has called on Camden Haven-based councillors Peter Alley and Lee Dixon for their support.​

On social media, funding for the project is attracting plenty of support:

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