Torquay, popular with visitors and locals alike, could emerge as an Esplanade precinct.
Torquay, popular with visitors and locals alike, could emerge as an Esplanade precinct. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

Not touching not an option

RISING from the catch cry to keep all hands off the precious foreshore comes the voice of Gerard O’Connell, who wants to get all touchy and feely with the Esplanade icon.

“Not touching it is not an option,” the Fraser Coast councillor said yesterday when he called for the foreshore debate to be expanded and balanced.

“We have a beautiful strip of natural and built environment. Now it’s about getting hold of and enhancing its beauty. Let’s work out what’s natural.

“It’s not about knocking down trees and building 20-storey buildings.”

Mr O’Connell urged interested parties to refer to the council’s newly adopted economic development strategy.

He believes the strategy’s precinct planning section offers the perfect terms of reference to advance the debate properly.

He highlighted Scarness Park and the WetSide water park as positive examples of foreshore precincts.

He said the Sailing Club and its surroundings in Torquay could emerge as another precinct, popular to visitors and locals alike.

“There’s a building there already, being used by a community group that provides a service, a place where good things happen and a mecca for socialising.

“Population boom is only a problem when we don’t plan and provide for that population.”

Mr O’Connell believes views under trees can be framed by removing the undergrowth without “stripping the foreshore bare”.



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