NSW Labor has promised to designate Kingscliff’s last coastal reserve and wildlife corridor, known as Lot 490, as a regional park if elected to government in three months’ time.
The move to support the long-running campaign to keep the 26-hectare reserve between Kingscliff and Salt from being developed follows last month’s tabling in state parliament of a petition signed by more than 15,000 people in support of the land staying as an open recreational reserve.
Locals’ fears that the government was planning to sell half the lot off for development were confirmed in Octoner when it was revealed the state’s Crown Lands Office had declared it ‘government property’ so it could be sold.
But the ‘Our Lot 490’ campaigners ramped up their fight and enlisted state and federal Labor for support, arguing the land would be desperately needed when the local population is expected to boom from the nearby Kings Forest development for thousands of new homes.
Yesterday, in a show of solidarity with campaigners, NSW shadow minister for the north coast Walt Secord and Labor candidate for Tweed, Ron Goodman, announced that if elected in March, Labor will protect Lot 490 as a regional park under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Mr Secord said that under the proposal, Lot 490 (comprising now of two blocks of 11 and 15 hectares each), would be ‘protected forever’ and ‘put out of the reach of property developers once and for all’.
Mr Goodman said ‘our foreshore is a vital part of the lifestyle we know and love and Labor will protect it forever’.
Our Lot 490 spokesman Ron Coooper said the land ‘has a critical part to play in protecting community amenity in the face of massive development’.
‘It will provide public parkland and beachside car parking, the Tweed Coast is already short of car parking,’ Mr Cooper said.
‘The population between Kingscliff and Bogangar will more than double when Kings Forest and West Kingscliff are developed.
’Holiday congestion will become a daily event. People who only want to get to the beach will take the car parking normally used by shoppers, diners and those wishing to use professional services, amenity on the coast will fall away.
‘All this without even touching on the community’s preference for green spaces over wall-to-wall development, helping the rare Glossy Black Cockatoo and saving the endangered orchid.
‘The state government’s intention to sell Lot 490 or alternatively developing a government run caravan park is uncaring money grubbing,’ Mr Cooper said.