Tweed Shire Council has rejected an application to build a boat storage facility at Chinderah amid concerns that the Tweed River is being loved to death.
Greens councillor Katie Milne led the charge against the proposal, arguing that the type of development did not meet the objectives of the mixed business zone.
She had previously spoken out against the increasing number of Gold Coast boating enthusiasts using the Tweed River for activities such as wake-boarding which were being banned in areas of the Gold Coast.
‘We have a number of these applications and this is the third. One previously for 38, this for 69 and another coming up for 79,’ she said.
‘We have a new LEP (local environment plan) which prohibits boat storage in mixed use business zone and the state government says this type of development is not within the objectives of that zone.’
‘These [boat storage facilities] would be more suited to an industrial area. There is no significant reason to have it so close to the waterfront’.
Cr Carolyn Byrne countered that the proposed site was currently being used to store B-doubles.
‘You could look at this development as being an improvement to the site, especially with buffers and landscaping as I’ve suggested,’ she said.
‘To say that boat storage has an impact on erosion is a long bow. When they are in storage they are not having an impact on the river.
‘That’s not to say they won’t use the Tweed River or other rivers but while they are in storage they are not impacting.’
Deputy mayor Michael Armstrong expressed concern about the capacity of council-owned infrastructure such as roads.
‘We’ve approved 38 but to go to almost 200 concerns me,’ he said.
Mayor Barry Longland also supported Cr Milne’s motion, and used his casting vote for it to pass.
Crs Phil Youngblutt, Warren Polglase and Carolyn Byrne voted against.
At its most recent meeting, the council considered a report outlining costs involved in stablising some local roads impacted by river erosion.
In that report, staff estimated that there were 5,754 metres of roadway within the priority reach (between Murwillumbah and Stotts island, adjacent to the Tweed Valley Way and Tumbulgum Road) that needed attention.
The report said the total cost to stablise severe erosion over ten years could be as high as $9 million, with maintenance costs adding to the figure.