A last-ditch campaign to save Kingscliff’s last coastal reserve from development, at the site known as Lot 490, kicks off this weekend.
Two months ago, developer Leighton Properties pulled out from a controversial plan to build a $100 million resort on Lot 490, a prime piece of public beachfront land just south of Kingscliff, leaving the door open for the 42-hectare Crown reserve to be kept as a nature corridor.
But the fight to preserve it as a wildlife corridor or a much less impacting development is only just getting underway, with Tweed Shire Council set to discuss what options for the site it could recommend to the state government.
This weekend Tweed residents and tourists will be asked to sign petitions to the state government at various locations in Kingscliff and Murwillumbah, and members of the Our Lot 490 group also will conduct a doorknock campaign.
Our Lot 490 spokesman Jerry Cornford said the aim of the campaign was to raise enough signatures so the future of the Crown land and coastal reserve could be debated in parliament.
The land lies between Cudgen Creek Bridge and the Salt development.
‘Since Leightons Properties withdrew from a 90-year lease with the lands department to establish a tourist resort on the land earlier this year, Our Lot 490 has negotiated with Tweed Council to hold a workshop on the future of the reserve, followed by a public meeting where all Tweed residents will be encouraged to have their say,’ Mr Cornford said.
‘However, the final decision rests with the department and there is an element in Council still keen to move one of Council’s caravan parks to the site.
‘Kay Bolton and Claire Masters of Tweed Coast Landcare and Dunecare have arranged with the department the acceptance of Lot 490 as an area for Landcare rehabilitation.
‘This means there will be grant money available and the community will be able to maintain Lot 490 with virtually no cost to Council or the state government.
‘It’s important that all Tweed residents who value Lot 490 as Crown land and coastal reserve available to the whole community have their say on the matter.
‘Our hope, and we believe the hope of the majority of Kingscliff residents, is that the government re-designate the land as coastal reserve and secure it as the important wildlife habitat that it is.
‘The site is home to the swamp wallaby, the glossy black cockatoo, the blossom fruit bat and the critically endangered beach stone curlew.
‘In all, there are more than 32 species of native bird and a native ground orchid so endangered that the Millennium Seed Project from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, will be collecting seeds from the site this year.
‘This is the last chance to preserve this unique slice of nature for everyone and not turn it over for the commercial gain of a few.’
From Saturday 13 July petitions will be available at Zanzibar Cafe and Boardwalk Books in Marine Parade Kingscliff, Healthy Life health foods in the Kingscliff shopping centre in Pearl St, and a variety of locations from Fingal to Murwillumbah.
Locals wanting to help with the campaign or join the Lot 490 Landcare Group can contact Mr Cornford on 0429 645 421.