Ron Cooper.

Chamber positive about works as Cooper takes swipe

TWEED councillor Ron Cooper was the lone opposing vote at the recent awarding of the contract for the Kingscliff foreshore revitalisation works.

Now he says he made his decision as he didn't believe the revitalisation project was the best option for the council or the public.

The former Kingscliff Progress Association president said the Federal Government allocated funds so the council could construct a seawall and a new central public space with part of the holiday park's land.

But a better idea, according to Cr Cooper, would have been to amend the plan and the council return some of the funds in order to keep the holiday site as a revenue-generating asset.

He said income from council caravan parks was used to maintain green spaces across the shire.

Based on that, he said it was a bad business decision to allocate one third of the park for a public space that might now cost more money to maintain than it made. He claimed some councillors were reluctant to suggest the idea to the Federal Government due to fears it might revoke the money.

But Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president Mark Humphries said businesses had welcomed the foreshore redevelopment and the decision to create a new community park.

He said there would always be people who didn't support the plan but the community had been consulted over a number of years and the project had majority backing.

Additionally, he expected a boost in trade due to increased visitors once the central park redevelopment was complete, and he argued this would offset any short-term loss.

The chamber president said the new space opened up the town centre and more people would be able to enjoy the area than previously possible.

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