Iluka locals and visitors to the town are enjoying the pathway recently completed by Clarence Valley Council (CVC).
Councillors made the decision to proceed with the 1.5 kilometre project in June 2015, following the exhibition of concept plans for the shared, two-metre-wide bike and pedestrian path.
Iluka resident Col Hennessy, who made a deputation to CVC in June 2015 on behalf of the Iluka Heart Foundation Walking Group, said the Iluka Ratepayers Association had been a strong supporter of the path, too.
He said the pathway joins the existing path near the Sedgers Reef Hotel and extends east to join a bush trail, which was completed prior to path’s construction.
“It’s proving to be a boon for Iluka residents who are taking advantage of the scenic route,” Mr Hennessey said.
“It was a dangerous walk along the roadside for elderly people and children if you wanted to head east.
“Now, the new pathway, wide enough to take bikes and wheelchairs, has trebled the number of walkers and everyone is hopeful the council will be able to attract funding to complete the route to the beach.
“What’s more, it is a very relaxing and informative walk, as it winds behind the fish cooperative and along the water’s edge.
“Near the end of the walk there is the option of taking the newly completed bush trail, which follows the old railway line (part of the infrastructure for the north wall) to the newly named Moriarty Drive at marine rescue.
“Many local groups have been involved.
“The Heart Foundation walkers marked out where they would like to see the route in conjunction with council staff.
“The Green Army worked tirelessly to landscape the route itself.
“All in all it has been a collaborative effort between such groups and the council, particularly Rodney Wright, who took a special interest in its completion.”
Meanwhile, Mr Hennessey said the ratepayers association has provided $1,000 to the Iluka Historical Society, to design “interpretive signs denoting the original village and wharf area”.
“Council put up one [sign] and history group put up two,” he said.
“Walkers will be able to acquaint themselves with our early history when all the signs are in place.”
Clarence Valley Council’s works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said the council has “applied for funding from the Public Reserves Management Fund to complete the final 600 metres of the Iluka footpath and was waiting for a response”.
“Now it’s time for me to step up and show what I can do.”
Ironically, at a three-day camp at the HPC in June 2012, Young topped a group of 16 of the country’s under-16 professional surfing aspirants.
At the end of that camp, then Australian deputy prime minister and treasurer Wayne Swan presented Young with the Mark Richards Development Camp Shield – Mark Richards is a four-time world surfing champion (1979, 80, 81 and 82).
“I got a lot of positivity out of it from all of the coaches,” Young said at the time.
“I had a good chat to MR (Mark Richards), who is a really good mentor, he showed me the ropes and how to stay focussed with my surfing.”
It’s a focus that has remained and driven Young to continue pursuing a professional surfing career; however, without a major sponsor his opportunities to compete in the World Surfing League’s qualifying series (QS) have been limited. .
“This was my first year on the QS,” he says. “It’s a super hard road, but one of the biggest things is [having enough] money. It’s very expensive to travel the world. I have to work [to earn some money], so I can’t be at those QS events.
“But being selected to represent Australia is a huge confidence booster. Having a major sponsor, it’s not at the top of my thoughts, but it would definitely help.”
The 2016 ISA World Surfing Games is a big deal in Costa Rica, so much so that country’s president, Luis Guillermo Solís, has decreed it ‘a matter of public and national interest’; meaning that the public and private sectors of the central American nation contribute economic resources to ensure the event’s success.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said: “Surfing is a vibrant part of Costa Rican culture and this declaration underlines the powerful impact of our sport.
“…As we continue on our path towards Olympic inclusion, we are encouraged by our progress. We are embarking on a ground-breaking new era for our sport and it’s clear that surfing has a very bright future.”
Teams from 25 nations are competing at the games; Costa Rica is the defending champion, having won the teams and open men’s events at Nicaragua in 2015.
The world championship will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com from August 6 to 14. Visit the official website for results, photos, videos and news pertaining to the competition.