Vote leaves airport hotel on the cards

COUNCILLOR Paul Amos has failed in his bid to rule out hotel accommodation at the proposed Airport Enterprise Park.

Cr Amos raised a motion at the recent Coffs Harbour City Council meeting calling on Councillors to avoid creating a “competing commercial node” at the enterprise park and to take the position of: “not seeking to locate, or canvas hotel accommodation” there.

With the airport already close to existing commercial areas he said there was little to be gained in terms of reduced travel time.

“Shuttle transport would still have to be arranged from the Enterprise Park if a hotel was to be established there.”


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But Cr George Cecato spoke strongly against the idea, calling on his many years of experience driving taxis to back up his argument.

“I drove the airport shift seven-days-a-week for 21 years.”

He said there’s several different categories of tourists who fly to Coffs Harbour – from those on short stop overs who wanted to be close to the airport and those visiting for leisure.

“And I can guarantee you they are not looking to stay at the airport.

“We should not be afraid of competition. Competition brings the best out of you.”

In May last year Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack flew in to announce $10m in funding for the Airport Enterprise Park and support The Nationals candidate for Cowper Patrick Conaghan. The visit was a surprise to Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight

When the motion was put to the vote only Cr Arkan was in support of it.

Crs Knight, Adendorff, Cecato, Rhoades and Swan were against it and Cr Sally Townley was absent.

In January this year the first sod was turned on the $25 million Enterprise Park Development.

The Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel approved the development application from Coffs Harbour City council in July 2017, and early works have begun.

The early works have seen several tenants relocated and buildings demolished in the area, with the air force Cadets, the Air League and Coffs Skydivers all uprooted.

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