Geoff Washington, TRRA President Writes:
TRRA JOINS NEW NELSON BAY LOBBY GROUP
In recent years TRRA Inc. has been a member of the Nelson Bay Chamber of Commerce more recently called Tomaree Business Chamber. This has provided an opportunity to be informed on the aspirations of our business sector and to consult with commercial interests on matters on TRRA’s agenda. An objective has been to achieve mutual support where possible.
Last year the Business Chamber, having recognised that the commercial performance and overall presentation of Nelson Bay town centre was in decline, took the initiative to form a new partnership of organisations with an interest in the Nelson Bay town centre and Foreshore. This group adopted the title of Nelson Bay Now (NBN)
The purpose of NBN is to create a partnership of organisations and individuals working towards a better future for Nelson Bay Town Centre and its foreshore.
Its key objective is to create a united voice and cohesive advocacy group to represent the interests of businesses and the community of Nelson Bay.
Membership so far includes representatives of:
- The Tomaree Business Chamber
- Destination Port Stephens (Our tourist organisation and promoter)
- Tomaree Ratepayers and Residents Association Inc.
- D’lbora Marinas
- Acomm Port Stephens
- 6 individual business owners (including legal, real estate, consulting and health services)
Meetings are held monthly chaired by a convenor Ryan Palmer (Ryan Palmer Finance, formerly Manager of the Greater Bank). Peter Clough is currently acting as secretary.
Where consensus cannot be reached on any issue, members reserve the right to dissent from any NBN action and to act independently on that matter. So far there has been a high level of agreement on agenda items.
Agenda and achievements
Since its establishment mid way through 2016, NBN has agreed that it should give priority to the issues of Inadequate Car Parking in Nelson Bay, traffic management generally, the proposed extension of Yacaaba Street to Victoria Parade, upgrade of the public domain including landscaping, signage, and implementation of the Apex Park improvement plan.
Questions have been asked in relation to Council’s plans to hand over the two Donald Street public carparks to developers, subject to a condition that any development include a replacement of existing public car parking spaces. NBN considers that these Council owned sites are of great long term strategic significance to Nelson Bay and there is a majority view that the parking capacity needs to be augmented not just restored.
More recently, NBN has been giving priority to the Council’s call for consultation on the its Discussion Paper-Progress of the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy. NBN is seeking to reach a consensus on the major proposals in the discussion paper for the purpose of engaging with Council Planners and Councillors. Building heights will be one key area of interest.
NBN has been successful in establishing lines of communication with our Commonwealth and State representatives who have offered to assist in taking up issues with relevant ministers and administrations. Meetings have been held with representatives of the NSW Premiers Department, the Minister for the Hunter, Department of Planning and Environment and those responsible for implementing the Hunter Regional Plan. On 16 February, NBN will be meeting with Catherine Cusack the new Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter. TRRA will be represented.
A clear message was received from these levels of Government that any proposals for assistance or initiatives would need to be developed in conjunction with our Local Council. In recognition of this, NBN sought and was granted Public Access at a meeting of Port Stephens Council in late 2016 and Councillors have attended some meetings of NBN. Senior officers of Council have agreed to meet with NBN on a bi-monthly cycle to discuss matters of concern.
Secretary NBN, Peter Clough, Phone: 4984 4751 email: firstname.lastname@example.org