Lot 490 development a 'boost for economy'
NSW Lands Minister Tony Kelly says a $100 million eco-tourism develop- ment at the controversial Lot 490 site south of Kingscliff will provide an economic boost for the region. Mr Kelly was in town yesterday to formally announce an agreement be- tween the NSW government and Leighton Properties for an eco-tourism development at the site. Andrew Borger of Leighton Properties, a division of development giant Leighton Holdings, was also here to formalise the agreement in front of a small gathering of people. Mr Kelly said the development would include a $5.3 million invest- ment in community facilities, includ- ing a kiosk/restaurant, improved beach access and bike paths. It would --------------- --------------- also include the preparation of an environmental management plan, an Aboriginal participation plan for construction of the resort, and a community engagement plan. He said the agreement would secure significant environmental, recreational and economic benefits to the community, as well as providing opportunities for employment. "The $100 million development is expected to employ over 100 people through construction and many more ongoing, providing a huge boost to the local economy," he said. However, Rose Wright, tourism industry member and member of the Lot 490 steering committee, said that while she remains positive about the partnership between the community and the government regarding this project, she would continue to remain vigilant. "I'm pretty confident by having a partnership with the government and a partnership with Leighton Holdings we will have really good outcomes," Ms Wright said."The concern has to do with the ongoing management of the tourism facility, to make sure it maintains local em- ployment, indigenous employment and uses local trades and supplies." Ms Wright said from a tourism per- spective, the Tweed Coast needed to branch out from its abundance of ho- liday apartments and provide oppor- tunities for more activity-based and nature-based tourism. The eco-tourism facility at Lot 490 had the potential to do just that, if the government and developers kept in collaboration with the community, she said.