Chinderah marina dead in the water

A MARATHON native title case in the Federal Court has ended, leaving%native title in place over the Tweed%River bed. The outcome has created yet an-%other impediment to controversial plans to build a marina at Chinderah. The seven-year court case wound up in Sydney this week after all parties seeking to have native title extinguished over the river bed at Chinderah had withdrawn their applications, according to Indigenous Justice Ad-%visory Network advocate Al Oshlack. The latest withdrawal of a claim against native title by a previous owner of Chinderah riverfront land, Rivercolt, which had sought to develop the marina, follows withdrawal of a similar claim by prospective marina developer, the Harford family, last year. A Tweed native title group led by%activists Jackie McDonald and Russell Corowa is now planning to lodge a%native title claim over riverfront land at Chinderah which has been earmarked for boardwalks, a kiosk and other support facilities for the marina proposal. Mr Oshlack yesterday said winding-up of the court case confirmed that%native title over the riverbed remained in place. “This is yet another major setback for the marina proponents, it really is a final nail in the coffin,” he said. Mr Oshlack said the new owner of land near the marina site, the Hutchinsons building group, would have to%initiate its own separate court case to seek to have native title extinguished over the river bed if it wanted to%proceed with the marina. Anti-marina campaigner Katie Milne, who successfully pushed for an earlier court ruling to defeat plans to expand the marina to more than 100 berths, said there were complex%matters to be considered following the latest court case. But she understood the lease for the marina would be cancelled by the NSW Lands Department because native title over the river bed had not been extinguished. Ms Milne and Mr Oshlack previously succeeded in a NSW Land and Environment Court appeal against approv- als for a large marina at Chinderah. With the support of cane farmers, they claimed the large marina would increase risks of flooding, and that the marina would destroy the locality’s%visual amenity, including blocking views of Mt Warning. Mr Oshlack paid tribute to the many community supporters who had%assisted with the campaign against the marina. “This was a fantastic community%effort,” he said.



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