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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Aquatic fun-park plan set to be an election issue

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Re: Your story ‘Tweed council set to back quest for aquatic fun park’. The Save the Jack Evans Boat Harbour committee has recently been reformed as a result of the Aquasplash proposal.

Your paper identifies the Seascape building and Big Trev Water Sports as stakeholders is in this issue.

As a resident of the northern side of the harbour, there has been no contact with any resident of any building on the NSW side of the harbour. As a matter of fact, the whole matter has been kept quite by Tweed Shire Council.

Councillor Warren Polgase has put forward a motion to have this matter brought forward for discussion, which seems to be timely in the absence of our mayor being away on sick leave. Why the rush, one must ask?

Our committee has made contact with a wide number of local community groups who are as horrified as we are over this proposal.

There are many environmental issues within the harbour, such as the established seagrass bed, which has been identified and mapped by TSC. This seagrass attracts the protected green turtles and other grass eating marine life.

There are concerns in regards to the perimeter boundary fencing which requires netting to be secured to the harbour floor by cables.

This poses the treat of entrapment to dolphins who come into the harbour following schools of fish, turtles, pelicans and all other types of sea birds and marine life. The height of the equipment varies from one metre to three metres, which is totally out of keeping with the natural beauty of the harbour.

Your paper reports, the operator is reported to say that 50,000 visitors will use this facility over the trial period, which equates to a least 2,500 visitors a week jumping, diving and generally thrashing about in the water which will disturb sediment on the harbour floor which has an adverse affect on seagrass.

Not to mention, parking, toilets and loss of parkland space for the storage shed needed for bits and pieces.

The JEBH is the only passive recreation space in the area and is used daily by swimmers, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, paddle boarders and all the families that come down to the quite safe waters of the harbour.  Why our Councillors think this is a suitable facility for this area is beyond belief.

I am sure that this issue will become an election issue within the community should Council give Aquasplash a letter of support.

Our local member Mr Geoff Provest has been made aware of our concerns and today I have written to the General Manager, TSC asking for this matter to be deferred for discussion till May.

Stephanie Deane, Tweed Heads

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