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Calls for return of Fingal weddings

Local couple Laura Fekete and Kurt Laukin at Fingal Lighthouse.
Local couple Laura Fekete and Kurt Laukin at Fingal Lighthouse. Blainey Woodham

A PETITION to bring back weddings to Fingal Head has locals at odds following a council ban on the practice in June.

Tweed Shire council responded to complaints from residents concerned over the frequency and size of the weddings and the resulting mess and graffiti left in some cases following an event.

Fingal Dunecare member Kay Bolton photographed graffiti on the lighthouse following a wedding, where the bride and groom had allegedly painted their initials on the iconic building.

"The problem is compliance," Ms Bolton said.

'I believe wedding planners from elsewhere see Fingal as a cheap venue."

Ms Bolton said some wedding lasted up to six hours with the ceremony and reception taking place at Fingal Head.

"No-one objects to a ceremony," she said.

"But there are no toilets or other amenities for a reception."

Shop owner at Fingal Head, Linda Roberts has initiated the petition calling for the council to allow weddings at the beach and headland.

"There are people who have lived here all their lives and have their hearts set on a wedding in a place that is very precious to them," she said.

"I can fully understand the concerns over rubbish and graffiti.

"But there are ways of dealing with that.

"We need to find a common sense solution to this.

"Just as people have a right to complain about those who abuse the privilege, we have the right to petition against the ban."

Tweed Shire Council manager of recreational services Stewart Brawley said on June 3 the council was not accepting applications for nuptials at the headland.

He said Fingal Coastcare representatives had raised concerns with the council about the damage the number of weddings were causing to the site.

He said weddings had been banned at the sight while the council looked at the problem.

Ms Roberts said she felt the move was "a bit heavy-handed."

"This is not a 'them and us' situation," she said.

"I can fully understand concerns, but it's unfair to deny responsible people the right to choose where they get married."

Local couple Laura Fekete and Kurt Larkin said weddings should be allowed at the lighthouse and beach.

"I've lived in the area all my life and I'd like to think people could get married her," Mr Larkin said.

"I do think people need to more considerate about how they treat the place if they do get married there,' Ms Fekete said.

Ms Roberts said the petition would be submitted before the council elections on September 8.

A council spokeswoman confirmed a ban on bookings for weddings on Fingal Headland, but said bookings can still be made through the council for weddings on the beach.

"Council is putting a framework together considering issues such as frequency, number of guests, length of events and impacts on the headland, which will present a number of options for the community to consider," she said.

"This options report would go through a future council meeting and be put out for public consultation for comment.

"Once the feedback has been received, another report would go to the council to a decision."

Topics:  fingal head, marriage, petition, tweed shire council, weddings


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