AqauaSplash still keen
WATER fun park proprietors AquaSplash are still chasing the prospect of setting up shop at the Jack Evans Boat Harbour, despite pulling out of their licence application with the Department of Primary Industries.
Business development manager Matthew Devine said a 25m by 50m inflatable plastic waterslide and agility course was still hoped to be submitted to the Tweed Shire Council’s Expression of Interest process.
EOIs opened on Thursday, giving businesses the opportunity to apply for a licence to conduct water-based activities on the northern side of the harbour.
“We haven’t withdrawn our application, we’re certainly not finished with our bid,” Mr Devine said.
The controversial bid stirred community debate when it received an in-principle open letter of support from councillors at the April meeting.
“We’re assessing our options on a time frame to have a water fun park ready in time for Christmas,” Mr Devine said.
“We need to understand if we can meet the tender process and if we decide to go ahead.
“This is not about AquaSplash, it’s about a water fun park on the harbour, we just spearheaded it and I’m sure other businesses will apply.”
General manager Troy Green said Department of Primary Industries had notified council AquaSplash had withdrawn their request for a licence for an aqua fun park at Jack Evans.
He said AquaSplash advised council they did not want to spend any money on pursuing the licences and DA process until after council’s EOI process.
“They have been successful in securing three additional sites within other localities for this summer,” Mr Green said.
Mr Green said the EOI process still required further support from councillors.
“Then relevant parties would still need to pursue and follow any statutory approval process.,” he said.
“It would be optimistic to meet a Christmas operating schedule.”
The Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council is the latest group to express their concern over the council’s handling of the AquaSplash bid.
They wrote to council on May 26, arguing any proposal for the harbour, including the EOI, had an impact on Goorimbah – a culturally significant area containing the JEBH.
“Our people worked with project partners and (the council) landscape architects to re-create Jack Evans Boat Harbour as the cultural heart of Tweed Heads,” TBALC correspondence stated.
“Our community shared our cultural knowledge and produced an interesting and unique design for our cultural precinct.
“We respectfully request that you attend the next Aboriginal Advisory Committee meeting to discuss ways of ensuring genuine engagement of our community.”
Mr Devine could not comment on concerns raised by Aboriginal groups as
he was not aware of