Former mayor calls for urgent action
FORMER Tweed mayor Warren Polglase has called on Tweed MP Geoff Provest to hold urgent talks with NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard to stop a new Tweed Byron police headquarters being built on the beachfront at Kingscliff.
Cr Polglase, who has been pushing the idea of an emergency services super centre, combining police, fire and ambulance services near a major road, said Mr Provest should be lobbying Mr Hazzard.
The minister has the final say on whether a development application for the $8 million complex on the site of the Kingscliff police station and adjacent houses is approved.
Cr Polglase along with Cr Dot Holdom attended Monday night's meeting of the Northern Region Joint Regional Planning Panel which told the Police Force to negotiate with Tweed Shire Council over a lack of parking spaces in the development.
Panel members indicated if the parking shortage was overcome they could approve the project.
"Our state member should be making him quite aware there is strong community opposition to the site in Kingscliff," Cr Polglase said.
"The people have spoken very, very strongly and the council has voiced its concerns with planning issues.
"It would be a brave minister who overrides council and the community."
Mr Polglase said the council should not back down on its demand for more parking and it was difficult to see how the development could be changed to allow more parking on-site.
He emphasised car parking along the beachfront should not be used by staff at the police headquarters.
"The reserves along the foreshore are for visitors to the beach," he said.
"If you and I go along there and they a full up with the cars of people working at the police station, It's not meant for that."
In a further twist to the saga regarding the police station it was revealed at Monday's planning panel meeting that former National Party MP Don Beck contacted planning panel chairman Garry West about an alternative site.
Mr West, a former Coalition MP and government minister said Mr Beck, who with his wife, former mayor Lynne Beck, owns land at Cudgen previously considered as a police station site, had contacted him about an alternative site for the development.
As a result Mr West said he felt it necessary to declare a non-pecuniary interest.
Mr West said he advised Mr Beck to speak to his local member (Mr Provest) about the matter.