A welcome development

THE steely resolve of former councillor Sue Robbins to create a balance between development and local amenity in Coolangatta has been commemorated with the launch of an $85,000 metal sculpture.

Pioneering developers in the area, Niecon commissioned the 6.5m public artwork designed after the town's namesake a topsail schooner that sunk in fierce storms off the seaside village in August 1846.

At last week's launch Sue Robbins' daughter Bree said her mother would have been overwhelmed to have such a striking monument erected in her honour out the front of the recently completed commercial and luxury-residential high rise, Niecon Reflections Tower Two.

"It's a very proud day for our family," said Ms Robbins at the launch last Wednesday.

"Mum did so much during her time in council, particularly in this area and this community. "Just to see the changes in this area has been phenomenal, and to know that mum was part of renewing Coolangatta, and to have that acknowledged by Niecon is a lovely gesture."

Also at the ceremony were Sue Robbins' husband Ken, son Damon, daughter-in-law Jemma, grandson Noah, grand-daughter Maya and sister-in-law Cr Chris Robbins.

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke and fellow councillors Jan Grew and Grant Pforr were also at the ceremony.

Niecon Developments CEO Constantine Nikoforides said his father who founded the company always had a soft spot for Coolangatta, realising its potential as an area for development to balance the lifestyle of residents with the need for infrastructure and residential improvements.

"My father believed that Coolangatta was an area that could not (because of geography) be overdeveloped," Mr Nikoforides said.

"The challenge is to get the 'right' development that creates a flow from the natural to the built environment, which is what I think we have achieved with the Reflections Towers."

He said the revitalised Coolangatta was a tribute to the determination and vision of Sue Robbins, a task followed by current area councillor and Ms Robbins' sister-in-law, Cr Chris Robbins.

"Sue Robbins was fair in the way she would work with developers, but she was also the first to get us to pull our head in if we needed it," Mr Nikoforides said, remembering the close friendship which formed between his father and the long-standing councillor.

"I personally have a heartfelt connection with her as she saw the potential in the area, but only if there was the right development balance between the built and natural environment."

Only one penthouse compartment remains up for sale in Reflections Tower Two, which will be formally launched at year's end.

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