SEALY SHOWCASE: Jenny Beatson at Sealy Lookout.
SEALY SHOWCASE: Jenny Beatson at Sealy Lookout.

Petition against Roberts Hill lookout

A PETITION against a proposed lookout at Roberts Hill has attracted 750 signatures in two weeks.

Jenny Beatson created the petition due to fears that a lookout at Roberts Hill would impact wildlife, in particular koalas.

"I've never created a petition before. I've signed plenty of them, but when I heard about the plan for a lookout in a mapped koala corridor, that was the straw that broke the camel's back so I thought why not start a petition," Ms Beatson said.

Coffs Harbour City Council has spent funds from its Environmental Levy on re vegetation work at Roberts Hill, and the area has also received State Government environmental funding.

The lookout proposal has been put forward by businessman Neil Manson who would like to see it built in conjunction with the Coffs Harbour bypass to showcase our stunning coastline.

But as others have argued, Sealy Lookout already serves this purpose.

"Sealy Lookout at Bruxner Park has already had major infrastructure installed, including parking facilities, specifically to attract tourists and contains a sky walk, cafe and walks and it is close to the proposed Bruxner Park interchange," Ms Beatson said.

Mr Manson sees Sealy Lookout as more of a destination to be highlighted along with the harbour and has pointed out some of its limitations.

"People are already complaining about the road access to Sealy now. It's quite crowded already so why overload it."

While Mr Manson is pushing on with plans for a lookout at Roberts Hill he is aware of the likelihood of cuttings replacing tunnels.

"If it is cuttings, and there's probably a 99 per cent chance there will be, the environment has already been significantly impacted. In this case the addition of a loop road would not be considerable in the overall impact," he said.

"What we need to consider is that the Pacific Motorway is the largest civil project in Australia since the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

"Coffs Harbour has suffered longer than any other community although hopefully not as deeply as Clybucca, Cowper and Urunga with their respective tragedies.

"So as closure to the nation building project and as recognition of Coffs Harbour being the last town to be bypassed I believe it is appropriate that RMS invest heavily in some form of statement in Coffs Harbour."