River health in the spotlight

AUDREY Hadley, a retired Tweed Heads resident and a regular swimmer in the calm waters of the Tweed River, became so concerned about trees falling into the water she decided to do something about it.

First she began painting the trees as an artistic record, then she contacted Tweed Shire Council to push for action on the erosion.

This week she began organising a public protest rally for Tuesday's council meeting to object to plans for a high-speed jet boat promising a “helava ride” for tourists along the river.

“I want the councillors to think about this,” she said yesterday.

“The councillors look as though they are going to give permission to this high-speed boat which will create a precedent.”

Council planning staff have recommended the councillors approve an application by Pena Jet Boats Rides Pty Ltd to conduct sightseeing tours of the Tweed River from Tweed Heads to Murwillumbah, based from a jetty in Tumbulgum and using a jet boat.

Planners said the boat would be “powered by twin Yenmar diesel engines and propelled by twin jet propulsion units”.

But Ms Hadley said that would push out over 1200 litres of water a second -“enough to fill the average sized swimming pool in under a minute”.

She hopes a crowd of protestors will turn up at the council chambers in Murwillumbah at 4pm on Tuesday.

“I swim at that point of the river where the Terranora Inlet comes into the main river,” she said.

“I've been there 10 years and I've watched 20 trees be absorbed by the river. There's a lovely row of 10 sitting on the edge of the bank now.

“The park has lost half its width and the river has doubled its width.

“Because I swim there I have a sense of the waves as the boats go by. Some of the give enormous wash.”

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