Protesters rowdy against new towns
A PROTEST on the steps of Tweed Shire Council yesterday against two new towns on the Tweed attracted barely a dozen people.
But later they made their voices heard, along with a handful of latecomers, in rowdy scenes inside the council chambers.
At one stage they had to be cautioned to remove placards, which are banned from inside the council meeting room.
Despite the low numbers, protest organisers said those who did turn up were representing at least seven community groups.
The development company behind the new townships however claimed those protesting were clearly a minority.
The protesters were angry at planned developments at Kings Forest south of Kingscliff and Cobaki Lakes west of the Gold Coast Airport, each with about 5000 homes.
Protesters, two dressed in koala masks and others holding placards such as Cap Population Now and Protect Koalas, argued a “major koala colony” at Kings Forest would be put at risk.
They also said the water needs of the new towns were placing pressure on the council for a new dam.
Protest organiser Menkit Prince said many different groups including Team Koala, the Caldera Environment Centre, Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers, and the No Rally Group “oppose these new townships”.
“These two new townships are...the worst thing to happen to Tweed Shire,” she said.
“It will effectively double our population.”
The protest was prompted by a move by some councillors to dismiss a call by Greens Party councillor Katie Milne for the state government to insist on an independent review of the projects.
In the council meeting Cr Milne failed in further attempts for an independent review of the projects.
The demonstration brought a stinging response from the developers Leda Corporation, which is waiting for a final go-ahead from the NSW Department of Planning. Leda’s regional manager Reg van Rij said the land had been zoned for urban development “for some 20 years”.
“The zoning of Kings Forest was subject to three independent assessments, two on behalf of Tweed Shire and one by the Minister for Planning,” he added.