AFTER more than 200 years in the planning stages, a significant milestone in the State's history has been marked with a Memorandum of Understanding signed to transform Crown reserves into tourist hubs.
The agreement signalled the launch of the State's first Strategic Plan for Crown Lands to grow tourism, support community groups, boost regional economies, advance Aboriginal interests, provide more green open space and protect the environment.
"Some of the State's most iconic and beautiful public land is Crown Land, including coastal areas, waterways and community infrastructure like showgrounds, caravan parks and surf life saving clubs," local MP and Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said.
"Crown Land is community land, we want our communities to unlock its full potential to support not only the local economy but also its heritage and cultural opportunities while keeping it in public ownership.
"Crown Land supports showgrounds, racecourses, public marine assets and organisations like our surf life saving clubs, scout and girl guide halls, men's sheds and the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service and Police Citizens Youth Club."
Many of those organisations attended the historic signing, held at the Cape Hawke Surf Life Saving Club.
Acknowledging Mrs Pavey, Department of Planning, Industry and EnvironmentCrown Land commissioner, Richard Bush said: "Nothing happens without great leadership".
There isn't a touch point that Crown Land does not have in our lives.Richard Bush
Prof Bush described Mrs Pavey as a visionary and the driving force behind the project.
"We have taken a position which will take NSW into the future; this is an ambitious plan, it is a wonderful plan; it is a balanced plan.
"There isn't a touch point that Crown Land does not have in our lives."
Member for Myall Lakes and Forster resident, Stephen Bromhead, described the launch as a great day for the community.
"The State Strategic Plan will create jobs and more tourism opportunities within Myall Lakes," he said.
"Crown Lands are multiuse hubs which bring community groups together.
"I am excited to see how this will grow and provide opportunities to our Crown Land and bring an extra economic boost to our region."
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