By Luis Feliu
Tweed Shire Council has conceded there may have been some impacts on the Hastings Points coastal foreshore and residents’ amenity during the recent controversial filming of a major Hollywood movie on the township’s scenic headland.
But staff say that given the filming was temporary in nature (of around two months), much of the development was permissible, including a $300,000 set construction on the headland (pictured).
The staff assessment report of the filming, to be debated at next week’s council meeting, follows a major public outcry over the headland being taken over for the filing (see previous story at
Staff say 27 of the 34 submissions received on the development for the Warner Brothers movie ‘Aquaman’ objected to the headland’s temporary use for filming, with seven supporting it.
Concerns included lack of public consultation, impact on the ecosystem, timeframe of the temporary use, and restriction of community access to the headland public reserve.
Council also received submissions of ‘compliments regarding hospitality of staff on site and the economic and publicity benefits for the Tweed’.
The staff report says ‘the proposal may have had some impact on the amenity of the coastal foreshore however given its temporary nature and that it forms part of a Temporary Film License Agreement granted by Council, it is considered that the impact would not be any more than what was granted in the previously mentioned license agreement is acknowledged that access was restricted to the Hastings Point Headland by temporary fencing, however this was not a blanket restriction of the entire area,and public access was still afforded to the area.’
In their assessment of the use of the headland for development (set construction), staff said the ‘erection of a temporary structure, had minimal impacts on the surrounding environment, and has since been removed following the ceasing of the film production’.
Staff said some a ‘key theme’ of a number of submissions was the length of the restriction of access to the headland and surrounding rocky foreshore and beaches during filming.
They also said that the temporary set structure sat unchanged for a number of weeks ‘further increasing the amount of time that access to the area was restricted’, which also upset locals.
‘The submissions described an impact that the restrictive access had on regular users of the headland and surrounding area as well as tourists and surfers,’ the staff say.
There were also some impacts on the ecosystem ‘given the high volumes of traffic (vehicle and foot) and machinery, including the impact on headland grass and rocky shore area’.
‘It was identified that the site is of a high ecological, geological and cultural significance.
‘Concern was raised that none of these aspects were suitably considered and the relevant legislation was not adequately addressed.
‘It was suggested that no future filming be permitted in environmentally sensitive and public areas of the Tweed shire’.
It was raised that the safety of the public was an issue during the filming process as the
restrictive access to the headland forced people to convene in carparks.
The submissions highlighted that alternate locations should have been considered which
contained existing lighthouses rather than require a new structure to be built.
Concern was raised about the economic benefit to the local area that the filming may have,
with submissions mentioning that many staff for the project were staying in QLD.
Precedent for future filming
Concern was raised that the processes involved in granting a Temporary Film Licence
Agreement and subsequent development application on this site may set a precedent for
more filming to take place in the future.
The compliments received on the
Temporary Film Licence Agreement identified that the
steps constructed on the rocky foreshore provided good access to the rocky shoreline area
and that the works could be a tourist attraction if left constructed and are great publicity for
temporary structure once constructed (now removed)