The most recent Weekend Star reported that Tweed Council had prosecuted 15 people for ‘street camping’, which refers to people sleeping and eating in their cars.
This can’t be correct. There is nothing illegal about camping in your car; indeed two years ago Byron Council published local advice to that effect in its meeting agenda. More recently Byron Council deleted street camping from its 2012 compliance program in recognition of the fact it was locally powerless to do anything about it.
I surmise that Tweed Council actually prosecuted street campers for littering, noise, lighting fires, etc, not for street camping as such. They may have gilded the lily in their press release in order to appease local residents, who actually feel territorial about their streets and nervous about itinerants.
Last year I was disappointed to hear Byron mayor Jan Barham denigrate holiday campers during council debate on the basis that they spend little money. Have the Greens become beholden to local business? I was under the impression that the streets belonged to everyone, money or no.
It is a well-known fact to long-term Tweed residents that the low-altitude southern flight paths to and from Coolangatta Airport have historically always been in a direct line above the previously undeveloped and unpopulated areas of Casuarina, Chinderah, Oxley Cove, Banora Point/South Tweed and West Tweed Heads. The newer suburban residential areas have subsequently grown around the airport, which has also grown to become one of the busiest in the country. Long-term Tweed residents have always known this and deliberately avoided living in these areas in order to evade the noise of aircraft arriving and departing Coolangatta Airport.
It is only in more recent times that successive pro-development Tweed Shire councillors have decided transform this undeveloped land (beneath the airport flight paths) by approving its subdivision and selling it off as residential lots to unsuspecting newcomers, who have not been alert enough to notice the number of aircraft flying at low altitudes directly above their new dream home building sites. These newcomers are now complaining about the high noise levels of the low-flying aircraft and the increased air traffic at the airport, which has been at its present location long before they decided to buy or build their houses there.
The development of vacant land beneath the flight paths on the southern approach to Coolangatta airport is planned to continue with Kings Forest City, South Kingscliff and Cudgen. Cobaki Lakes will be on the western perimeter of the airport and new developments at Fraser Drive, Terranora and Bilambil Heights will be beneath the southern departure flight paths from Coolangatta airport.
Aircraft on a southern approach to Coolangatta previously crossed the coast at Casuarina above Salt resort, which is also a relatively recent development, but are now frequently crossing the coast at much lower altitudes above the established residential areas at Kingscliff. Aircraft on a southern departure from Coolangatta are now frequently crossing the coast at much lower altitudes above the established residential areas at Fingal Head.
Due to these relatively recent and future developments and the selfish complaining by newcomers to the area, who have chosen to buy, build and live in the areas directly beneath the aircraft original flight paths, these aircraft are now being dispersed over a larger area and are affecting a larger number of people. The long-term residents of the previously quiet, unpopulated and pristine areas at Kingscliff and Fingal Head are now being forced to suffer noise and pollution, which they knowingly chose to avoid by living in these areas.
If the lifestyle, home values and health of that resident of Oxley Cove are at stake due to a projected 300 per cent increase in air traffic over the next five to ten years (Letters 22/1/12), why does she wish to inflict these things upon an even larger number of people, especially the innocent victims at Fingal Head and Kingscliff, who have paid a premium price for their property deliberately in order to not live under the airport’s original flight paths? She wants everyone else to ‘shoulder the entire burden of increased air traffic’ and wants everyone else to suffer and pay for her own mistake of choosing the wrong place to live.
This is the typical selfish attitude of most of the newcomers to the area that enabled the pro-development councillors (who were sacked for corruption) to allow these developments to occur in the first place. These are the same selfish people that want the area developed but then complain when our hospitals are full, we run out of water and our roads are clogged with traffic. They want everything now. Who are the selfish ones here?