ABOUT 650 people attended a rally against the possible sale of Tweed Shire Council-owned land at Cabarita yesterday.
The rally, organised by the Cabarita Residents Association, loudly criticised Council's interest in a $5 million offer from Resort Corp to buy the land in Pandanus Parade for a proposed units and shops development and a new surf lifesaving club.
Speakers, mostly long-term residents, said the proposal would reduce beach access, ultimately requiring a new car park much further away from the beach.
They were angered at Council's unspecified offers of improvements elsewhere at Cabarita if the public land was sold.
They were also angry at an unhelpful Council hotline set up to answer queries on the possible sale.
NSW Upper House Independent MP John Jenkins, a Cabarita resident, said the local community, including some political opponents, was united in wanting to retain the open space land.
Mr Jenkins said he had asked Local Government Minister Tony Kelly to intervene and he would table petitions against the sale.
Labor's Tweed MP Neville Newell said Council had to be careful to ensure there was "meaningful" community involvement in any decision on the future of the land.
Resident David Rae said: "If a developer in Sydney offered to buy beachside open space at Bondi they'd be laughed out of the council chambers."
Resident Stuart Reid suggested the site could best be used as open space, with an above-ground car park and a surf lifesaving club adjacent.