Minister for Lands and Forestry, Paul Toole, and Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, will visit the Atherton Drive foreshore today and announce a draft master plan for the area will be on display from early February.

Ms Pavey said the master plan will guide future use of the Kalang River Foreshore Reserve adjacent to Atherton Drive.

“This section of Crown land within the Bellinger Heads State Park is a valuable public asset,” Ms Pavey said.

“With its magnificent park settings and river views, the Atherton Drive foreshore provides a range of opportunities for public recreation and has important heritage and environmental values.

“When the draft master plan goes on display in the next few weeks, residents and other stakeholders will again have an opportunity to provide feedback before the plan is endorsed by the Bellinger Heads State Park Trust.

“Key issues raised during initial consultation include retaining vehicle access and preventing foreshore erosion, and the draft master plan will include proposed solutions for both.”

Mr Toole said the NSW Government is supporting the development of the master plan through its Public Reserves Management Funds (PRMF) program.

“The NSW Government is supporting the growth of regional economies and helping communities preserve their natural environment, and protect our important public assets,” Mr Toole said.

“Over the last three years, Trusts in Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Nambucca have received over $300,000 in grants and loans through the PRMF program.

“The Bellinger Heads State Park is an important asset for the people of NSW and surrounding communities, and the draft master plan for Atherton Drive will provide options for enhancing the foreshore and securing its future for the long term.”

The Master Plan is an initiative of the Bellinger Heads State Park Trust, jointly administered by the Department of Industry – Lands and the Bellingen Shire Council.

The draft plan will go on display in early February and will be available online via the Bellingen Shire Council website.

Applications for the 2018/19 round of the PRMF program will open on 5 February 2018.