Council considers beachfront buy of Lot 490
AT ITS first meeting of 2014, Tweed Shire Council has resolved to investigate the purchase of one of the last remaining tracts of open beachfront bushland at Kingscliff to maintain as public space and a recreation reserve.
The move signifies the council's preference for the site, which has been the subject of a prolonged campaign by local residents.
The residents have been seeking to stop the State Government from developing the coastal reserve Lot 1 DP1117599, widely known as Lot 490, with a campaign backed by a petition signed by more than 10,000 people.
Tweed councillors voted 4-3 on Thursday night to inquire with Government Property NSW as to the prospects of the council buying Lot 490.
"It's timely that the council presents to the community our contemporary position on the land," Mayor Barry Longland said, speaking to his notice of motion.
Cr Longland said given the residential development proposed for the area, the land was going to be "an important connecting green space between Kingscliff and Salt".
However, some councillors, including Gary Bagnall, were concerned no decision should be made until an Aboriginal land claim for the area had been determined, saying it could otherwise be seen as another "land grab".
But councillor Katie Milne said she had talked informally with local Aboriginal leaders and they had expressed a preference for the Tweed Council to own the land over the State Government.
Save Our Lot 490 group spokesman Jerry Cornford said the council resolution was a significant and welcome move as it showed councillors were listening to the community.
Mr Cornford said he was now eagerly anticipating a public meeting which the council last year proposed to hold to discuss the future use of the land. A date was yet to be set.
"I think we'll get a good turn-out," he said.
The group is also planning to present its own proposal for the site, including picnic and barbecue areas and additional parking.