Forster Main Beach

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We're excited to announce the first stage of the Masterplan is on time and budget, with an upgrade to the facilities at the Forster Ocean Baths underway.

Thanks to funding of $200,000 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund and additional Council funds of $250,000, we’re upgrading the large shaded barbeque area, public amenities / change rooms and outdoor shower near Forster’s Ocean Baths.

Draft designs were developed in keeping with the Masterplan, and were open for community review and feedback during April 2019.

If you would like to see how the feedback provided was used to influence the design elements please visit our feedback page to view the detailed report and final design plans.

Stage 1: August - December 2019

While the Ocean Baths are open for swimming during the October school holidays, some of the surrounding lawns and the amenities have been fenced off while we build the toilets, change rooms and showers.

Temporary toilets and an outdoor shower and two dual barbecues are available at the site, so holiday makers can still enjoy one of Forster's most popular spots.

Initial site works included demolition of the aged toilet block and change rooms, along with excavation and construction of a new slope-stabilising retaining wall to make way for the new building footprint. At first we thought that there might be unforeseen factors that could delay the project timing, but everything has gone smoothly and we've begun constructing new amenity buildings on schedule.

That's great news for this summer, as the new facilities should be open in December, ready for the busy holiday period.

We will remove the fencing and open the whole site for the Christmas and January period, and the new toilets, showers and change rooms will be available for public use.

Stage 2: Early 2020

After the January 2020 school holidays are over, work will recommence to demolish the old barbecue shelter and rebuild a brand new shelter. This area will be fenced off, but the ocean baths and new amenities will be open and accessible.

Why did we develop a Masterplan?

The Masterplan has been 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.

June 2017
MidCoast Council engages consultants 'The Design Partnership' to assist the community and Council to develop a Forster Main Beach Masterplan.

July 2017
Over 500 people attend a 'Big Ideas BBQ' consultation at Main Beach, generating many ideas for future planning for the area.  Consultations are also head with Forster SLSC and other special interest groups.

August - September 2017
'The Design Partnership' works on concept development and produces a Framework for discussion.

October 2017
Council presents the Framework to the community for consultation on the concept ideas. 

October - December 2017
Consultants work on developing the Draft Masterplan.

June 2018
Draft Masterplan placed on public exhibition for community feedback. Big plans BBQ at Main Beach.

Council refined the draft approaches to produce a final Masterplan.

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

September 2018 
Final Forster Main Beach Masterplan endorsed by Council prior to public exhibition.

October 2018
Forster Main Beach Masterplan placed on public exhibition for final feedback.

December 2018
MidCoast Council endorses the Forster Main Beach Masterplan(PDF, 7MB).

 

 

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.