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Byron Shire
March 21, 2023

Kingscliff’s backdoor development

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Stirling McWhirter, Kingscliff

The NSW sitting member, Mr Provest, along with his mates, has stated numerous times that the building of a hospital on state significant farmland on Cudgen Plateau will not trigger a flurry of other developments on SSF zoned land.

Most recently he, in a Sydney Morning Herald article (25/02/2019), ‘promised constituents the hospital will not open the floodgates to further development.’

Imagine our ‘surprise’ when we read, only five days later in the Tweed Valley Weekly (28/02/2019) that a 5.96 hectare block of state significant farmland next to the proposed hospital site has been purchased for $4.51m by IRBS 1 Pty Ltd. IRBS 1 Pty Ltd is a reincarnation of a Brisbane-based apartment development company.

Do you think an apartment development company buys $4.51m state significant farmland in a seaside town for agribusiness!

The feigned surprise by those in power of the purchase is disingenuous. Everyone knew that the proposed hospital site, thinly disguised as a state significant development, was a backdoor opener for future development.

Wasn’t the structurally compromised Opal building in Sydney was a state significant development also!

As well as overseeing a faulty state significant development, this Liberal/National NSW government has a poor track record of looking after farmers exampled by the Murray-Darling water management, the subsequent Menindee mass fish deaths, the dairy industry and now failure to protect farmers and prime farmland.

This NSW coalition government has had eight years to get on the front foot and instead of demolishing perfectly adequate stadiums to rebuild new ones, how about it protects our diminishing arable farmland (that is not in drought) and ensure sustainable food security for future generations.

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