Cobaki Lakes development offers short-term gain for long-term pain, according to Cr Katie Milne.
Cobaki Lakes development offers short-term gain for long-term pain, according to Cr Katie Milne.

Town plan a social nightmare

CLAIMS that the huge Cobaki Lakes township to be built just west of the Gold Coast airport will create jobs have been slammed as “ludicrous” by Tweed Shire Greens Party councillor Katie Milne.

With the council set to discuss the final plans for the new township next week Cr Milne has warned that construction jobs will only be short-term, while the township will “result in thousands of new residents needing more jobs”.

The NSW Department of Planning is currently considering the final concept plans for the township of up to 5000 homes proposed by Leda Manorstead, a company of property billionaire Bob Ell, who plans a similar-sized township south of Kingscliff at Kings Forest.

Councillors are due to consider a report on the finalised plans at their first meeting of the year next Tuesday, but Cr Milne claims public consultation has been “completely inadequate”.

Cr Milne said it was amazing that conditions on the development did not include a provision that the number of residents allowed should be “dependent on employment availability”.

She said an assurance from Mayor Warren Polglase that the project would create jobs “seems ludicrous as construction jobs will be short-term and only result in thousands of new residents needing more jobs”.

“This would seem to spell social disaster, as there has been very slow uptake for industrial lands in Tweed,” she said.

On top of that, Cr Milne said water would become “more scarce with the increased population and tighter measures will be put in place”.

“Increased water usage and sewerage output will continue to impact the health of the river and fish stock levels.

“Community neighbourhoods and wildlife corridors will struggle with the cumulative effects of more roads and wider road networks.

“Increased pressure will be on parking and public open space. There is no guarantee of an increase to services for public transport, hospitals, social or police services.

“With 463 koala feed trees at Cobaki, there is also the koala issue.”

Cr Milne said the community had the right to demand a full and thor- ough consultation on such complex and controversial developments, but she was “utterly shocked that the State Government had not provided public information sessions nor had the council filled this gap.

“Thorough public consultations are essential, as not only are these development sites located on coastal biodiversity hotspots with approximately 450 species at each site, but council’s basic building standards are set to be blown out the window,” she said.

“Councillors’ reluctance to support more consultation or sustain-able outcomes is a grave disappointment.”



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