I have for a while been frustrated with where Nowra is as a city. So in my blog, I thought I would outline my vision for the city. I understand that things are never as simplistic as I am about to portray and I also am not intending to be critical in any way toward the current leadership of our city. This is just my thoughts.
We have the most amazing river that sits right in the middle of Nowra and I often lament at the lack of attention we give it. I would like to see:-
- Cafes on the river bank
- Walking tracks along the foreshore
- Cycleways for as long as is possible along the river
- Tourist use of the river, boats for hire, water ski day tours etc.
I have said this before and I will say it again. The Roxy cinema cannot be considered a serious cinema for a growing city. We wonder why there is so much street crime, graffiti and alcohol and drug issues, yet we refuse to provide positive entertainment alternatives. I would like to see Greater Union put in a 10 cinema complex. I would then love to see it surrounded with cafes and casual restaurant dining like Hogs Breath. And dessert type shops like Cold Rock. Nowra should be the place that you can take your wife, your date, a friend, out for nice coffee, or a dessert after 6pm. Currently everything is closed pretty much except good old McCafe. I would put a massive screen in the middle of the court yard and use the screens to show things like the Rugby World Cup.
We could have busker stations so that local talent could perform. I would make it easy to get a permit and the permit would be free. Then there would be a main stage, for free concerts. It could also be a stage for people to “soap box” on a Friday and Saturday night.
We could make this area a cultural area. Part of the main stage and the buskers area, could be an art exhibition area where local artists can show case and sell their art works.
Part of the mentality behind all this is to promote local talent and get the Shoalhaven to start to back themselves. We need to lose the negativity mindset that so often pervades people’s thinking down here.
Part of my vision for the city is that, community, civil and business leaders would be lobbied and encouraged to talk up Nowra and the wider Shoalhaven. I would employ security guards to patrol the area so that it was safe for families. And I was dress up the area in theme for things like Christmas, Easter, Etc.
I think we should be lobbying business to come into our city and invest. Want to know why we have double the national youth unemployment rate in this city – because everything moves so very very slowly. This is in part related to environmentalists. Anytime there is a proposed development, you only have to have one person who is opposed to it, claim that a rare spotted tree frog was seen in that area 15 years ago, and everything stops. I am not into environmental terrorism, but the pendulum needs to swing back toward balance. (We need the North Nowra Link Road).
I don’t know the reasons why other things seem to move so slow, but all I know is that 11 years ago, when I came to Nowra, they were talking about expanding Stocklands. Well they are still talking about it. We need a retail centre that can adequately service the retail needs of residents and visitors, during normal times and also during peak times. I will not visit Stocklands between, December and February – so all my Christmas spending goes to Wollongong. My heart and preference is to support the local economy, but I have stood in one too many long queues in K-mart at Christmas time.
First thing that needs to happen, is the Traffic flows around the CBD needs to be changed. The fact that you cannot travel north from Stocklands unless you first drive through the CBD is ludicrous. I would install traffic lights at Stocklands.
I would build a multi storey car park over the current car park at Woolworths.
I would open up Nowra Mall to traffic.
I would change all one hour parking to two hours. Two hours to three etc.
I would work hard at making shopping in the Nowra area a pleasant cultural experience, instead of it being the narly nightmare that it currently is. I would court more retail business into the area with incentives. As we got this area right, Nowra would become sought after for retail businesses.
I would provide free training to any retail staff member, who wanted to learn how to service people, how to smile, how to be customer focussed and how to actually give a damm. This would change the whole atmosphere and attitude of much of the retail sector.
Housing and Mental Health
I would release more land so that housing can be built and the heat in the housing market can be taken out. I would promote nationally that Nowra is a good place to invest in a property and I would do all I could to assist people to get an investment property in the area. This should take some of the heat out of the rental market.
I would get the Govt Agencies, the welfare Agencies and the churches to work together on the issue of Homelessness. There is a solution. I would do the same in the area of mental health. I think if all the agencies can work together, we can attract money from the Federal Govt, from the Bill Gates Foundation and anywhere else that we can access money from.
- I would require all service stations in the area to have exceptional rest room facilities. I personally would inspect every single one of them. I think this is an underestimated tool for attracting people to our city.
- I would invite Fairfax to start a rival paper to the South Coast Register. A paper that is not so negative and biased. A paper that celebrated life in the Shoalhaven and reported on things that went across all residents. – For example, when did you see a report about a church in the paper of late.
- I would build an aquatic centre in Nowra.
- I would get street parades to happen building around the event, great family atmosphere.
- I would court sporting events to come into the town.
So there are a few of my thoughts. Let me know what your thoughts for our beautiful city are.
Categories: Political Commentary or Thoughts