A residents’ group dedicated to saving Kingscliff’s last remaining beachfront reserve from development has condemned last weeks comments in parliament by Greens MLC Jan Barham, describing them as ‘counter-productive to the cause’.
Ron Cooper, spokesperson for the group Our Lot 490, which collected a 16,000-signature petition to maintain the land as a public park and environmental reserve, said it was ‘disappointing that the Greens appear to be sabotaging [our] effort’.
Mr Cooper praised last week’s parliamentary motion by ALP north coast spokesperson Walt Secord, to declare the last area of undeveloped coastal land in the Kingscliff are into a Regional Park under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
He said the ALP motion had resulted from’ lengthy negotiations with Mr Secord and the ALP and no reciprocal response from the local Nationals member, Geoff Provest.’
As reported by Echonetdaily, Greens Aboriginal affairs spokesperson Jan Barham last week accused Mr Secord of undermining an Aboriginal Land Claim, lodged when the government changed Lot 490 from Crown Land to Government Property in 2013.
But Mr Cooper said a successful Land Claim would result in Lot 490 transferring to the Local Land Council in freehold with a zoning that allowed resort development. A regional park with a plan of management prohibiting commercial use would prevent this without undermining any heritage claims.
‘If the Greens are happy with Lot 490 being subject to continuing vandalism and rubbish dumping for the 10 to 20 years it may take to settle the Lands Claim, then the Our 490 Group holds little hope for their commitment to other environmentally sensitive areas of the Tweed,’ Mr Cooper said.
Our 490 Group media officer Jerry Cornford said that, Ms Barham had ‘not raised a finger to support the Lot 490 battle over the past ten years’ but praised federal Greens Richmond candidate Dawn Walker, who he said had ‘actively supported the Lot 490 campaign,’
He also thanked Mr Secord for following through on his commitment to them and the 16,000-plus petition signatories.