The Camden Haven Courier surveyed readers about issues affecting their vote at the state election on March 23. Lake Cathie water quality, funding for local roads, jobs and employment, mental health and tourism/local industry made the top five.
Beach to Beach Riverwalk committee president Penny Small says the creation of walkways will provide a footpath for creating events and boosting tourism in the Camden Haven.
"It's really only limited to people's imagination," she said.
The shared walk-cycle way from Dunbogan to North Haven is set to create a crucial accessible pathway for locals and visitors to get out and actively explore the Camden Haven River foreshore.
Penny said the pathway has the potential to attract a host of events such as for running, cycling or something similar to Sculptures by the Sea.
The project received $500,000 state government funding in May, 2017. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council also allocated $160,000 in its 2017/2018 Operational Plan.
Penny said the concept plan for the path is currently being conducted by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Once completed, Penny said a tender will go out for a strategic plan.
"We need to make sure all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed," she said.
"We're expecting the planning to take another 18 months before construction will start."
Recently the committee and community members welcomed the installation of signs to guide people along nature walks in the Camden Haven.
Committee president Penny Small said there are now two ways for people to enjoy safe walking trails along Camden Head Road, between Seaview Avenue and Scarborough Way.
“One is on the new roadside pathway and the other is the nature trail that runs along the bank beside Gogleys Lagoon,” she said.
Penny said the committee designed, purchased and installed three signs which show the entry and exit points of the nature walk.
“We encourage locals and visitors to explore this beautiful place,” she said.
Creek to Creek Queens Lake Trail is a trail which runs from the Lakewood shopping complex along the foreshore and through Henry Kendall Reserve to West Haven.
The Creek to Creek group's president Peter Nash said the boardwalk had enabled people who have mobility issues the ability to get close to the water, to enjoy the scenic landscape.
The Creek to Creek group’s next project is to complete the covered shelter and seating at the start of the trail at Sirius Drive, Lakewood.
Peter is organising a Laurieton Multisport Challenge event on March 31, to help fundraise for the group and its projects.
The event will showcase the area with a paddle, run through state forest and mountain bike ride.
Schools to Schools is another pathway project will be 14km long and connect Kendall Public School to Laurieton Public School.
Since its establishment, the Schools to Schools committee has helped to establish 3.5 kilometres of pathway through three developments.
The next section the group wants to push for is the section between Henry Kendall Reserve and the industrial estate on Ocean Drive.
In 2017 the crew were joined by MPs Leslie Williams and David Gillespie, acting mayor Lisa Intemann and Diane Pope from the Kendall Community Op Shop to mark the construction of the latest section of the pathway at Lakewood.
The Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce executive officer Marisha Woods said Chamber and the Tourism Marketing Co-op (TMC) recognise nature-based tourism as a huge opportunity for sustainable economic development.
"The TMC is already working to strategically market the Camden Haven to a target audience who will appreciate and respect our natural environment," she said.
"Chamber and TMC would like to see more funding and support for infrastructure such as board walks, look outs, bird hide outs and interpretive signage.
"This would help our local groups such as Beach to Beach and Creek to Creek, as well as our national parks and state forests to improve nature-based visitor services and experiences."
How the candidates would boost local tourism/industry:
Nationals MP for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said over the last four years the Nationals have invested an additional $43 million to implement innovative initiatives to attract more visitors to rural and regional areas.
"We have established six new regional tourism entities, the Destination Networks, which have developed bespoke Destination Management Plans to provide a strategic framework for growing overnight visitation in their regions.
"In the year ending Sept 2018, regional NSW received its highest level of international and domestic overnight visitors and nights on record, and exceeded regional Australia's overnight growth in overnight visitors and nights for the year.
Regional NSW leads regional Australia in visitation with 35 per cent share of all international and domestic overnight visitors to regional Australia.
"NSW small businesses will save thousands of dollars under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, with the introduction of a raft of cost saving measures including cheaper insurance premiums, payroll tax cuts and access to the Energy Switch program.
"We are reducing costs, cutting tax, and slashing red tape – unlike Labor, who see NSW businesses as a cash cow."
Greens candidate Drusi Megget said the Greens plan to spend money on cycleways, which is good for locals and tourists alike.
"A high priority will be making sure the Beach to Beach and School to School cycleways are funded," she said.
"The Greens will start up a new publicly owned electricity company, PowerNSW.
"A benefit for regional areas is a $1 billion Renewable Energy Fund for local communities and councils.
"This will make it possible for employment in manufacture and maintenance of wind turbines.
"Electrical trades will boom with installation of batteries and solar.
"To boost job opportunities for youth, tenders will be required to include apprenticeships."
Sustainable Australia candidate Jan Burgess said the party appreciates the contribution tourism and small business makes to regional communities. Its policies to help small business include:
1. Removing small business employer involvement in the collection of superannuation funds for their employees (super can be better collected and managed by the ATO by including superannuation in workers gross pay and PAYG payment)
2. Instant write-off for small business assets under $20,000.
3. Having an “effects test” in competition policy to protect small business from misuse of market power.
4. Implementing standard maximum 30 day payment requirements for invoices to government and big business.
Labor candidate Peter Alley said the party recognises the important contribution that tourism makes to the local economy.
Mr Alley said under a Labor government a safe pathway will be built to enable the opportunity for kids in Lakewood and Fairwinds to walk or ride their bikes to Camden Haven High School, and for the Links estate to access the Lakewood Shopping Centre via bicycle or mobility scooter.
Funded on a 50:50 basis with Port Macquarie Hastings Council, this 750m of shared pathway on Ocean Drive between Brotherglen Drive, Kew and Sirius Drive, Lakewood will complete an important milestone of finally joining the Kew community west of the Highway, the Camden Haven High School, the Lakewood Shopping Centre and the Fairwinds estate.
This project will be funded from the Main Streets Revitalisation Fund, part of Labor’s Regional Jobs Fund, which will be established from the proceeds of the $4.1 billion that NSW received from the sale of its share of the Snowy Hydro Scheme to the Commonwealth.
Mr Alley said Labor will mandate a target of 50 per cent local content for major state government contracts, as part of Labor’s plan to support NSW workers and local industry.