Govt intervention on Gales fight welcomed
KINGSCLIFF Residents and Ratepayers Association chief Peter Gladwin has welcomed the NSW government intervention to sort out the dispute over a proposed new regional shopping centre. Mr Gladwin said a "circuit breaker" was definitely needed in the legal stoush between Gales Holdings and Tweed Shire Council. He said many Tweed residents could now look forward to meaningful input into responsible long-term planning and environmental outcomes for Gales' 220-hectare site. Mr Gladwin supports a light industrial use for the land near Chinderah, in line with an earlier zoning and a Council retail strategy, rather than the major regional shopping centre sought by Gales. Mr Gladwin said the association preferred a smaller, new shopping centre for Kingscliff on the north side of Turnock Street, opposite the existing local centre, with major retail expansion confined to existing precincts at Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah, as set out in the retail strategy. "We need to look at job creation for the Tweed, and those sorts of opportunities arise with industrial uses for a site this large," he said. "Industrial doesn't have to mean heavy industry. "More work generated in the Tweed also means fewer people are driving outside the shire to get to work. That takes pressure off roads and reduces the carbon footprint." Gales principal Dr Stephen Segal said about 20 per cent of his site was already subject to the state government approvals process for a sand quarry to provide fill for proposed sports fields and botanical gardens. He also noted the state government had sacked Tweed Shire Council and appointed a departmental director general as administrator, but this had not stopped council misinformation about his project, so he remains anxious about the effectiveness of the ministerial intervention. "Our site is one of the most strategically important in NSW, in one of the fastest-growing areas in Australia," Dr Segal said. "There are major issues to resolve in relation to retail planning, hydrology and the ecology, even without the litigation, which makes it a nightmare. In one case alone, our%legal bills so far are $1 million, and that one hasn't gone to court yet"