Plea to remove Salt sign

TWEED developer Alan Black has called for the removal of a huge beachfront sign erected to block ocean views after trees were chopped down, saying it unfairly punishes nearby homeowners.

Mr Black asked Tweed Shire councillors at their meeting on Tuesday to have the sign near his Salt home%taken down.

The sign, along with a shade cloth screen, was ordered put up by the previous council administrators after seven trees were illegally chopped down on the beachfront to create sea views.

But Mr Black says the destruction of the plants was simply the "work of vandals".

"The large sign was installed as punishment to the landowners at Salt for something they had nothing to do with," he said.

"We have had to take the brunt of council's wrath."

Mr Black said the sign was behind the house of a nearby neighbour and dedicated ecologist. He added that if council officers had looked further into his background they may "have thought twice about putting that ghastly sign%directly behind his house".

"He is a plant saver, not a plant destroyer," Mr Black said. "Can you imagine what it's been like the past year, to see people walk past that abominable sign, look at ...(the) house and say 'he must be the bloke who pulled out the trees'? Residents have been unfairly punished for vandalism they had nothing at all to do with."

Mr Black called on the councillors to issue an order before Christmas to have the sign taken down.

"Not one councillor sitting here tonight would have enjoyed looking at the big black screen intentionally installed to hide the ocean views of Salt residents," he said.

However councillors did not further discuss the matter and do not meet again until January 27.

In November last year then-council administrator Max Boyd said the council had no other option but to erect the screen and so-called "shaming signs" to discourage illegal tree destruction.

Mr Boyd warned, although it could "not be always assumed the people whose properties are behind where the trees have been removed are the culprits," the council would not be varying its policy.

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