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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Kingscliff residents dudded over parking

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I’m really pleased that Dot Holdom, president of Kingscliff Ratepayers Association, and her family have no trouble parking in Kingscliff. It’s downright unfair however to have so much good luck bestowed on just one family.

I don’t know why the association did not step up and defend residents when Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president Don Neale, contemptuously described them as – ‘a vocal minority who couldn’t accept change’ – ‘they want to come here and put this place in a coma’ – they’re NIMBYs. All they had dared to do was express their opinions on the Kingscliff parking shortage.

Kingscliff residents have been remarkably tolerant of the growth occurring around them. It’s only when they are dudded by council, and derided by the Business Chamber that they are likely to bristle.

The Kingscliff one-way is a classic example. The council was pushed into the one-way change of Marine Parade by the local chamber. I can only assume that the advice of professional planners’ and engineers’ was suppressed by their superiors to appease the Chamber. The ratepayers association was silent.

Council bureaucrats then set about hiding their bad decision with spin and just plain lies. They inflated the extra parking by 65 per cent. They didn’t tell us that the revamped hotel would take up the extra spaces that were created. They broke their promise to conduct a trial that was always going to expose the faults. And in a breath-taking example of bureaucratic cynicism they trotted out a 20 year old police report to retrospectively justify their poor decision. The ratepayers went along with all this.

On the advice of these bureaucrats now desperately in damage control, mayor Bagnall’s proposal to hold a public meeting was voted down by Crs Longland, Polglase, Byrne and Youngblutt. Still nothing from the ratepayers association. It fell to the ‘our 490’ group to convene and underwrite a public meeting that was one of the largest in recent times.

Thirty years ago the Ratepayer Association was a major force in securing Kingscliff’s three storey height limit. Twenty-five years ago they advocated for alfresco dining that is now so emblematic of Kingscliff. That is a great legacy for a community association. Unfortunately that was then. This is now.

Ron Cooper, Kingscliff

 


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