Forster Main Beach

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Following a very successful community consultation process during the month of June, the draft Masterplan is being refined with a view to producing the final Masterplan for Council's consideration at the ordinary Council meeting in August. On 15 June 2018, over 250 people attended the 'Big Plans BBQ' held at Forster Main Beach to provide their input into the two draft approaches that had been developed by consultants, The Design Partnership.

All input provided as part of this community consultation process (which included both the BBQ and online submissions) is now being taken into account to inform the preparation of the final Masterplan.

Why are we developing a Masterplan?

The Masterplan is being developed for use as a vital tool in attracting funding to upgrade the Forster Main Beach precinct. The Masterplan is intended to represent a 30 year strategy and will be an important tool to obtain funding, liaise with stakeholders, budget and generally plan for the future of the precinct.

How did we develop the draft approaches?

The project began in July 2017, when over 500 people attended a 'Big Ideas BBQ' consultation at Main Beach, generating many ideas for future planning for the area.  Consultations with Forster SLSC and other special interest groups were also held.

Using this extensive feedback, The Design Partnership worked on concept development and produced a 'framework' which was workshopped by the community last October. From there, Council's internal project team and The Design Partnership have developed the final approaches, which have considered various elements and constraints of the site, including parking and traffic management, planning considerations, environmental factors (including coastal erosion and water sensitive urban design), economic development, open/green space considerations, built form, spatial analysis and community engagement.

We've also been in regular contact and discussions with the Forster SLSC to understand their needs and incorporate those requirements into the Masterplan design.

The Beach precinct is one of Forster's most visited tourism sites and is equally important for local people too.  Sporting events are regularly held here including the club events of the Forster Mud Crabs and Forster Turtles. Forster Surf Club 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.

Although Main Beach retains a certain charm (and sparks many treasured holiday memories for people from all over Australia and beyond), it is now looking a little dated and some facilities are struggling to meet modern needs.  In addition, the Surf Club premises and associated Council building has reached the end of its useful life, and needs to be replaced in order to meet the demands of today's users.

The first step towards rejuvenating the Main Beach area is to develop a plan that meets community and visitor needs. With that in mind, we'd like to start by thinking big and hearing everyone's ideas for how we could improve the whole streetscape and provision of facilities which support the many uses of the area.

We're also not forgetting that it's very important that we consider the connectivity and improve access between the Main Beach, nearby open space, adjoining business and shopping areas, and other key locations that make up the Forster central district.

Once we know what our community would like to see at Main Beach, we will develop concept plans to present to the new incoming Council later this year.  These plans will be an essential element for Council to seek funding sources to realise the plan.

  1. Chris Shrewsbury
    The vital consideration of connectivity and improved access between Main Beach and adjoining business and shopping areas that make up the Forster central district, would be best achieved by an aesthetically pleasing covered elevated footbridge passing from the Main Beach precinct to the shopping precinct.
  2. Anne Dwyer
    Having travelled around Australia I would say Forster main beach is certainly one of Australia's top beaches. Starting with the green grass area perhaps small palm trees planted giving the area a tropical look and attractive gardens as there was previously. Let any proposed racing events work around the town and not the town have to back down to cater for a small minority .More seating along the along beach front for people to have their 'fish and chips'. Perhaps in the peak times Xmas etc boat parking along Beach and North Sts be banned.....some tenants park along these streets still hooked on to cars for days on end not being used.....three parking spots are lost, each unit tenant has one parking spot with their rental. Also ban overnighters along the beach front and car park they leave rubbish and many do not have toilets and use the street when the public amenities are closed. All the tourist buses come to the beach so make Forster unforgettable.
  3. Tony Calladine
    Commending the council is required in taking the Main Beach proposal/s to the public. The Main Beach area is tired and needs modernising. Failure to uplift this area lacks forethought and future planning. Upgrading this area brings new and abundant energy to the entire area. Energy in Main Beach spreads energy and new life to the rest of Forster and Tuncurry.
    This entire locality needs a real boost. The council and councillors are working to give the region a lift, a shot in the arm if you like. No longer should the mantra for the Forster Tuncuury area be 'God's waiting room'. The recent article in the Advocate by a community member is an opinion and biased. the letter contains no argument regarding parking or lack of parking; furthermore, the piece is out of step with reality and the rest of the community. In conclusion, revitalising Mainbeach, will advance a stagnant economy in the Forster area and bring much-needed tourism and energy to the precinct.