Image By Maggie Francic - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
The recommendations from a community panel will be used to guide the development of a new master plan for the iconic Fraser Coast Esplanade area.
As part of a ‘deliberative democracy’ process, a community panel was set up to develop a 20-year vision for the Hervey Bay Esplanade, with its recommendations delivered to the Fraser Coast Regional Council in July.
“The input from the panel has given us a clear indication of the community’s values, priorities and vision for the Esplanade over the next two decades,” Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said.
“Council considered the panel’s recommendations and today delivered its response.”
Cr Everard said the Esplanade was one of the best recognised and most loved features of the Fraser Coast, defining our regional identity and reputation as a great place to work, live and holiday.
“The new master plan will ensure Council strikes a balance between community expectations to preserve and develop the Esplanade in line with the recommendations of the panel,” he said.
“The master plan will guide us as we move forward, especially with staging works and developing budgets over the next two decades.
“While the vast majority of the recommendations of the community panel report have been endorsed, not all of the projects will be undertaken by Council as some are too expensive and some are more suited to the private sector.”
The deliberative democracy process undertaken to develop the recommendations put forward by the community panel included two phases – wide community engagement through online surveys and targeted discussion groups, and the community panel sessions.
The panel was comprised of almost 40 community members, selected randomly, which came together over six full-day sessions to develop a vision for the Esplanade.
Key recommendations from the community panel centred around:
Creating information signage, pathways and board walks;
Protection, preservation and sustainable management of the natural environment;
Increasing the attractiveness of the Esplanade as a tourist destination;
Integrating smart city technology including eco-friendly lighting;
Ensuring the Esplanade was visually appealing and celebrated art, culture and heritage;
Improving traffic flow and parking; and
Development, future planning and additional foreshore activities.
“We hope to have work on the master plan started by the end of the year and a draft report presented to Council by the middle of next year,” Cr Everard said.
“There will be further opportunities for community input during the development of the draft and final master plan for the Hervey Bay Esplanade.”
More information about the Hervey Bay Esplanade deliberative democracy process and a copy of the community panel report is available at https://www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au/hervey-bay-esplanade-community-engagement