A last minute attempt by Councillor Warren Polglase (conservative) to introduce a water park as part of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour Plan of Management (PoM)at last nights Tweed Shire Council saw yet another ‘workshop’ set up for councillors to discuss the implications.
Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) spoke to the motion to accept the PoM for Jack Evans Boat Harbour, that began negotiations with the community in May 2017, saying that this was the project that had originally got her into council.
‘This is an incredibly exciting day for me to see this plan get adopted, hopefully. This is a community led plan of management and importantly it was driven by the community.’
Mayor Cherry highlighted the fact that the Council hade gone to ‘great lengths to talk to the community’ about what they wanted for the area. She said that this had been confirmed with a randomised survey of residents that had returned the same result as those who opted into the survey for outcomes the locals were looking for.
Cr Polglase looked to include a consultation for a water park at Ebenezer Park, part of which is included in the Jack Evans Boat Harbour PoM area. He said he was presenting the idea on behalf of the Tweed Chamber of Commerce as he believed that the idea had been excluded from the PoM process.
‘The Chamber is just asking if it can be looked at,’ Cr Polglase told the meeting.
Following on from saying ‘hi’ to his mother in Norfolk, England, Cr James Owen (Liberal) said that while he had reservations about including it as an amendment, that community feedback had been that it was not wanted in the area, he also recognised that there were families that would enjoy it.
‘I’m happy for council to explore the concept a bit further,’ he told the meeting.
Mayor Cherry said she was against the amendment as the community had worked for four years to negotiate the PoM and that the idea had been raised ‘many times’ and that people wanted small scale water activities in the area.
The discussion then centered on issues around how much of Ebenezer Park was actually under council control, whether it would be a council or private initiative, equality of access, cost and location.
Ultimately, the PoM for Jack Evans Boat Harbour was passed and while councillors agreed to a workshop to look at the possibility of a water park in the Tweed area in general.