There was jubilation from northern suburbs residents and councillors on Monday night, as Wollongong City Council adopted a new 10 year town plan for Corrimal.
Speaking at the meeting, Corrimal Chamber of Commerce president Paul Boultwood – who has been a vocal advocate for the plan for several years – said it would help “put the town of Corrimal back on the map”.
“This community for too many years has seen other townships be revitalised while our township has been slowly dying from a lack of upkeep and infrastructure,” he said.
The plan is divided into five different “visions”, which will allow Corrimal to have a distinct identity, a thriving community heart, strong connections, smart growth and pride in quality spaces.
These are supported by 21 actions, which will be delivered in the short, medium and longer term.
Councillors were particularly encouraged by the level of community engagement involved in creating the town plan, noting there had been 371 written responses to the draft plan.
“The community consultation has just been brilliant,” Cr Janice Kershaw said.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had this sort of enthusiasm for any other item and this is an example of what can be achieved in other areas.”
She also noted there were numerous “quick wins” in the plan which would not cost much and could be led by residents.
The most common themes in resident submissions were a desire for more shops, the beautifying of public spaces through community-led projects, urban greening and making the town centre more pedestrian and cycle friendly. People also wanted to encourage more events, artistic and musical displays or performances.
This Saturday, some of these ideas will be put into action when the council’s Moonlight Movies program heads to Corrimal for the first time.
The Sapphires will be screened at the free event, which is part of the council’s Illawarra 200 bicentenary commemorations.
The council’s public relations manager Susan Wardle indicated the movies was a first step towards “enlivening” Corrimal after the adoption of the town plan.
“Earlier this year we held discussions with the community about ways we could enliven Corrimal, and a lot of people said they’d love to see outdoor movies, so we’re really excited to be able to do that with this event,” she said.
From 6pm there will be performances including didgeridoo, Indigenous dance, and music from Elaine Crombie. The movie will begin at 8pm.
Residents can bring a picnic blanket, bean bag or folding chair, and buy dinner or snacks from one of the food stalls at the event.