Marina finds few friends
By PETER CATON
TWEED'S three state government-appointed council administrators have promised to consider lodging a court challenge to the government's decision to approve a controversial 115-berth marina at Chinderah.
The promise followed pleas by leaders of community, business and farm groups, as well as the government's own Tweed MP Neville Newell, for the council to use its resources to launch the legal challenge.
Three community representatives made pleas to the administrators at Tuesday's public access meeting and handed them a letter from Mr Newell warning community opposition to the marina, which many fear will worsen flooding, was so strong "all avenues of appeal must be pursued".
The community groups urged the administrators to prove they were not afraid to challenge the government which appointed them.
Chief administrator Garry Payne said the administrators had "better get some advice" on whether they could legally challenge the government.
"We just don't know legally where we stand," he told a packed public gallery at the Murwillumbah council chambers.
"We will get some advice before a decision is made".
A delegation comprising Felicia Cecil, representing community groups, Clinton Beisler, representing businesses and Graeme Martin, for the cane industry, warned the administrators that a decision was urgent.
They said the government had allowed only 28 days for an appeal to be lodged, dating from April 19.
In his letter Mr Newell said he had unsuccessfully urged Planning Minister Frank Sartor to reject the marina application and he was now joining community groups in "requesting Tweed Shire Council consider lodging an appeal to the Land and Environment Court".
Mr Martin said all of the Tweed's 8,400 hectares of cane grown on the flood plain was upstream from the proposed marina and could suffer from the effects of increased flooding.
Objectors have claimed the marina could dam flood waters or even be washed away, possibly causing a jam against the Barney's Point bridge.