Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

A Century of Change but Issues Remain the Same

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

A Century of Change but Issues Remain the Same

Article excerpt

ONE HUNDRED years on and the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce is still dealing with many of the same issues its forebears campaigned for a century ago.

Reading the elegant copperplate handwritten 1911 minutes book of the original chamber revealed to current president Peter Newbold recurring themes.

aA lot is still relevant today a day-to-day issues like widening roads, inadequate town drainage, getting copper line installed for the telegraph lines a getting the basic town infra- structure in place as it was growing,a Mr Newbold said.

Recent chamber support for the NBN rollout, a highway bypass and improved drainage in flood-prone locations are modern equivalents of these early issues.

aWhat has interested me is the way history has repeated itself. Obviously a lot of infrastructure has been put in place, but it's hard to keep up with a growing, thriving area a there's just not enough money available,a he said.

Early minutes reveal recurring issues like extending the CBD footprint, public transport, inadequate town drainage, factions between different commercial districts, securing water supply and working port issues.

One of the chamber's most successful initiatives was their push for an airport at Coffs Harbour.

After the success of both stopovers and aerial joy rides on Jetty Beach, the chamber pushed for a permanent aerodrome on the racecourse plain below Beacon Hill.

Leading grocers Robert Bray and William Cox and civic leader Charles Vost formed an aerodrome committee in 1928 and issued many letters to the local MP, Dr Earle Page, the civil aviation authority of the day and Lands Board.

Thanks to the enthusiasm for another airport between Sydney and Brisbane and their efforts and fundraising success, runways opened the same year near the current airport. …

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