12th November 2018
Multi-million dollar Forster Civic Precinct to begin construction in January
Masterplan for Main Beach Precinct progresses
Photo: MidCoast Council Mayor Cr David West, Local Federal MP Dr David Gillespie, MidCoast Council General Manager Adrian Panuccio and Council’s Director Corporate & Business Systems Steve Embry
Construction on one of the biggest developments in Forster’s history will get underway in January.
The Forster Civic Precinct located adjacent to the Central Business District in Lake Street, will incorporate a number of buildings to house a new tourist information centre, public library, seniors living, Hotel, gymnasium, supermarket, shops and flexible public spaces.
Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, who secured $6-million in Federal funding towards the project, has been briefed by Mid Coast Council following the completion of pre-construction activities, said it was all systems go for the project to enter the construction phase.
“This exciting project is a game changer for Forster and the Great Lakes region. It will creating 200 direct jobs during the construction phase and a further 200 ongoing jobs on completion,” Dr Gillespie said.
The Forster Civic Precinct is expected to be completed by September 2020.
Council also took the opportunity to brief Dr Gillespie on the Forster Main Beach Precinct revitalisation proposal.
“Council has embarked on a master planning proposal for the Main Beach Precinct in Forster which aims to further revitalise the area to meet the community’s needs both now and in the future,” Dr Gillespie said.
“The proposal involves a number of important projects that will not only enhance the existing community assets that are there but deliver a significant boost to the region’s economy.”
“It will obviously require some funding to make it a reality and I have encouraged Council to apply for funding under our government’s Building Better Regions Fund,” Dr Gillespie said.
The Masterplan area encompasses the existing Forster Surf Life Saving Club, the ocean baths (also known as the Bullring), the promenade and parking areas between.
According to Council, many of the facilities in the precinct are now outdated and some facilities are struggling to meet modern needs. In addition, the Surf Club premises and associated Council buildings have reached the end of their useful lives, and need to be replaced in order to meet the demands of today’s users.
The Main Beach Precinct is one of Forster’s most visited tourism sites however the Precinct is equally important for the local community. Sporting events are regularly held there including the club events of the Forster Mud Crabs and Forster Turtles.
Forster SLSC is integral to the Main Beach area, providing lifesaving services and beach facilities for all users.
Local cafes and restaurants are popular meeting places on the beachfront and attract large numbers of people to this popular spot.
Main Beach and its headlands are beautiful natural features of Forster’s coastline and the area has strong cultural significance, with important Aboriginal and interesting post-European settlement sites.
Council has reported that following extensive consultation, the community has put forward a number guiding principles for how the master plan should look:
- Modernise the precinct
- More shade (combination of trees and shelters)
- Upgrade the amenities
- Create more green space for people
- Upgrade the Bullring
- Upgrade or replace the SLSC
- Maintain the car parking numbers (within the Precinct)
- Support was predominately for Approach 1 (minimise parking along North Street facing the beach and maximise green open space) – however some increase to parking associated with this approach was also supported.