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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Changes to Tweed council policy would ‘open back door’ to Aquasplash

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The Aquasplash fun park at Southport on the Gold Coast. Image Aquasplash website.
The Aquasplash fun park at Southport on the Gold Coast. Image Aquasplash website.

Chris Dobney

A residents group says a recommendation to be considered by Tweed Shire Council tonight would fly in the face of the council’s longstanding but yet-to-be-adopted draft policy on commercial recreation activities on public open space.

The Jack Evans Boat Harbour (JEBH) Group says recent changes to the draft policy are specifically designed to allow for active recreation activities such as the controversial Aquasplash temporary water park, a proposal for which was withdrawn in June last year.

A separate proposal for a crane-hoisted ‘dinner in the sky’ venture was proposed to Council last May but never got off the ground.

Echonetdaily has viewed the council’s original draft policy, which nominates activities that could take place at the Boat Harbour as including, ‘surfing, canoeing, cycling, yoga and the like,’ as well as ‘a circus or music festival’. Other possible nominated activities could include ‘dog training, horse and camel rides,’ according to the document.

Water parks added

But in the notes accompanying tonight’s recommendation, the words ‘inflatable water parks and temporary water slides,’ have been added.

JEBH Group secretary Stefanie Deane told Echonetdaily, ‘This item is now in contrast with the original draft policy, in that the original document favours passive recreational commercial activities over more Gold Coast styled theme parks.

‘Once again, this is another attempt by Tweed Shire Council to foist an inflatable theme park as well as dangling dinners into the Jack Evans Boat Harbour.

‘If Council approves to proceed with this engagement process, they will then be voting (in a round about manner) to allow inflatable fun parks and dangling dinners into the JEBH,’ Ms Deane said.

She added that a recommendation, suggested by Cr Ron Cooper, proposed to trial a new Council engagement process which includes community feedback, in this case from Pottsville residents.

‘While I applaud Cr Cooper, why would Pottsville be chosen as the target group?

‘Perhaps because it’s far removed from Jack Evans Boat Harbour?’ Ms Deane speculated.

‘Why would Pottsville residents be overly concerned about an inflatable water park or dangling dinners in the Jack Evans Boat Harbour?’

Ms Deane said another concern was a changed to the development criteria.

The original draft policy stated, “not within 100m of a residence”; in this week’s agenda this has been reduced to “not within 50m of a residence”,’ she said.



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  1. Some one correct me if I am wrong.
    It appears that the proposed changes to this draft have been tailored specifically towards approvals for the likes of previous proponents AquaSplash or Endless Summer.
    So council Staff can approve the developments without future community consultation?
    It begs the questions –
    Who in council made these changes exactly?
    Who exactly in staff of our council?
    Which Councillors previously identified with the two business proponents / plans?
    Are there conflicts of interest that would need to be declared in the meeting?

  2. A detailed report on this subject has been already been prepared by council and has had “extensive public consultation” as indicated in the agenda item for tonight’s council meeting. The issue here is why would council waste rate payers money ($7000) trying to write another report when one already exists and has been through their assessment process? It should just be accepted and implemented.

  3. It concerns me greatly that local council (staff or representatives) can make amendments/changes to the draft policy without residents knowledge which appears to be suspicious and secretive – for what purpose and who would have made these recommendations for changes to the draft policy and for what/whose gain – especially when considering that local residents will be impacted greatly if these changes are included in the draft policy.

    • There needs to be an inquiry into how this council is being run.
      Why should the community have to scrutinise the agenda of every meeting because of a lack of trust due to continual errors and abuse of process.
      At best a shambles at worst diabolical rort of the system.


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