GREATER Taree City mayor, Paul Hogan, would like to see the Crowdy Harbour foreshore returned to "some form of public use".
"If we have to have a tourist activity there, that activity would have to fit in with the zoning,'' Cr Hogan said .
"If it created employment, then it would be a really worthwhile project."
The future life of the foreshore - the site where the former but now derelict fishermen's co-operative stands - continues to be the subject of much community conjecture.
The co-operative's large industrial building has been vacant since July last year when the co-op went into liquidation with debts of almost $330,000. A Port Macquarie-based developer has now lodged an expression of interest with Crown Lands, regarding its future use.
Around 60 concerned community members turned up last week for an onsite meeting with a Crown Lands representative, Phil Fogarty (not Gogarty, as appeared in last Friday's Times) and State members for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, and Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead.
Many of those attending are members of a newly formed body, Crowdy Harbour Foreshore Preservation Group, described by the chair of the meeting, John Mitchell, as an informal gathering of locals who want to see the foreshore retained as a natural area.
The Times understands that not all members of the group are happy with a report of the meeting which appeared in our edition last Friday, headed 'Crowdy fears allayed'.
There was still a high level of concern among locals about the future use of the site, Mr Mitchell said this week.
He agreed there had been rumours circulating involving cabins and other tourist accommodation, with the fear being that this would preclude the public from using the area of harbourfront Crown land.
Mr Fogarty assured last week's gathering there was currently no such proposal on the table.
A developer, however, has purchased the co-op's former building, and is in negotiations with the department.
The Times this week spoke to the developer involved, at length, but he stressed that he is bound by a confidentiality agreement with Crown Lands "not to discuss anything at this stage."
Any proposal the developer submits would need to be in the form of a development application which would have to gain Crown Lands' approval before being lodged with Greater Taree City Council.
Under council's current zoning, the foreshore area of Crowdy Harbour is zoned IN4 'working waterfront', so accommodation facilities would not be permitted.
Mr Mitchell said it is understood the developer has two years to lodge with the lands department "a workable business plan" for the area.
Mrs Williams told last week's meeting it would be "an extremely long time before anything happens there".
A spokesperson for Mrs Williams said this week the developer has in effect "bought the building" (the former co-op premises), and that it would be removed.
"He now has a whole series of boxes he has to tick, with both Crown Lands and council. We have offered to work with him and the community, but currently there is no proposal on the table."