Helensburgh action plan sought

Two Wollongong councillors have put forward separate proposals to reinvigorate Helensburgh, two weeks after residents and business owners claimed their suburb lacked clear plans and direction.

Several residents told councillors during a public forum in July that Helensburgh was being hamstrung without a town plan that spelt out the suburb’s business and social direction.

The frank self-assessment prompted Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and Ward 1 councillor and Helensburgh resident Greg Petty to both submit motions to next Monday’s council meeting calling for action.

Cr Bradbery will ask councillors to move Helensburgh up the list of suburbs due for town centre planning.

Helensburgh now sits ninth, behind Warrawong and Wongawilli (both plans are in progress), Figtree, Unanderra, Berkeley, Windang, Gwynneville and Woonona.

‘‘The need to clarify the vision and directions for Helensburgh should be formally addressed in a town plan,’’ Cr Bradbery will tell councillors.

‘‘Many concerns have been expressed that lifestyle and business opportunities in Helensburgh will be impeded until such a plan is developed.’’

However, Cr Petty will put forward a proposal seeking to kick-start the process immediately, asking councillors to back his proposal for the suburb’s residents, business owners and interest groups to create their own Helensburgh ‘‘town vision’’.

Cr Petty will suggest community groups be given the opportunity to put forward a representative, including Darkes Forest Residents’ Association, Helensburgh Lions Club, Helensburgh Business Owners’ Group, Northern Illawarra Chamber of Commerce, Otford Protection Society, the neighbourhood forum and Stanwell Tops Residents’ Action Group.

He will also propose representatives associated with mining, aged care, the town’s liquor industry, sporting clubs and tourism operators be invited to sit on the committee.

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