Lot 490 goes eco-touristCommittee united in low-key vision

By LUIS FELIU

LOW-key eco-tourist-style cabins are in and five-star resorts are out - that's the unanimous view of the committee overseeing development options for the controversial Crown land site known as Lot 490 at South Kingscliff.

The NSW Government-appointed steering committee, chaired by Crown Lands officer Richard Dunning, will soon recommend the eco-cabins development option for the site to Lands Minister Tony Kelly.

Mr Dunning said the committee, which has held five meetings this year, was united in its vision for Lot 490 and an interim report on the proposal would soon be sent to Mr Kelly.

The report, he said, would then go on exhibition for 28 days for public comment with a plan of management for the site also likely to be exhibited - hopefully by next month.

The committee was set up in June this year after the NSW Government took control of the reserve from Tweed Shire Council and appointed Mr Dunning as its administrator.

The move came after council's majority faction had voted to allow Salt developer Brian Ray to build a road through the middle of the reserve - a decision which sparked a public outcry and led to the State Government intervention.

Fears by Tweed Coast residents that developers were keen to get their hands on the site for resort development or a five-star hotel which would shut them out of the public land now appear to have been allayed.

Mr Dunning said those suggestions were rejected in general because "everybody said no, let's keep it more low-key, it is Crown land and should be available for other people to use, also it should be some sort of buffer zone between there and Kingscliff".

Committee members were Mr Dunning, Cr Polglase, council's planning director Noel Hodges, community representatives Barbara Fitzgibbon and Rose Wright, Trevor Wilson from the Department of State and Regional Development, Ian Oelrichs, chairman of the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board and Tim Rabbidge, of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources.

Mr Dunning praised the committee for addressing the concerns expressed by the community and development industry.



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