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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Developer MAAS ignores Tweed Council request to ‘cease’ clearing operations at Tweed Heads

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Developmetn site at 60 Tringa Street,
Tweed Heads.

Last year Maas Group Properties from Dubbo bought the 15ha site at 60 Tringa Street for $20M+. It is a 37-lot legacy subdivision from 1996 that was approved on the Cobaki Creek floodplain an area that was ‘6ft under’ during the devastating 2022 floods according to local Robert Eady.

At the end of March the developers went in and started clearing and working on the site, this was in breach of consent conditions which had yet to be met say locals.  

The Tweed Shire Council (TSC) issued a ‘cease work’ order but the developer continued to work at the site. Then at last Thursday’s (6 April) Tweed Shire Council meeting the council moved a motion to ‘seek legal advice on any and all potential non-compliances… in relation to the existing current approvals for this development’. They also moved that council ‘write ot the landowner seeking that further operations on the site cease until the Plans of Management required under Condition 66 are produced and approved for the reported EEC’s (endangered ecological communities) observed on-site during clearing activities’.

Residents are distressed by the clearing for the development on Triga street, on the tidal estuary of Cobaki Creek

MAAS ignores Council

However, the developer MAAS, has continued to clear the site despite council’s request. 

‘Our five councillors who resolved an alternate position [Cr Warren Polglase voted against] to address the very serious matters on the subject development which includes several breaches of Development Consent and failures under both State and Commonwealth provisions are to be absolutely commended in their battle to uphold legal requirements and respect for our community, and our precious Tweed River and Cobaki estuarine ecosystems,’ Lindy Smith, president of the Tweed District Residents and Ratepayers Association told The Echo

‘However, despite the resolution which is the formal, legal position of TSC as per point 6 issued to the developer “further operations on site cease” pursuant to Development Consent condition 66 regarding threatened species, populations, ecological communities and habitat, and other consent conditions having been breached to date; construction works have continued on site yesterday and are underway today.’

Residents are distressed by the clearing for the development on Tringa street, on the tidal estuary of Cobaki Creek

The TSC motion noted that: ‘the environmental protection buffer zones have been compromised, that ‘works that have occurred on site to date are not contained to site preparatory works’ as permitted under the  2015 Construction Certificate, ‘that the large trees cleared on site were chipped, which appears to contravene the approved Vegetation Management Plan’, and that ‘required erosion and sediment controls’ were not in place.

‘The ruthlessness of this is extremely disturbing and we the community do not have an open door to such contempt inflicted on our community and our much valued environment. The arrogance is a real example of why the state of our environment is so dire, and the health of our estuaries are in decline.

‘The Tweed River–Cobaki Broadwater ecosystems are recognised as being of national significance, and are a NSW Class 1 major fishery of significant economic value to the regions commercial and recreational fishing industries warranting the upmost respect – not contempt. Such unacceptable activity on the shores of this precious estuary has the potential to tip the priceless natural resource assets over the edge.’

MAAS have responded to questions from The Echi stating ‘we have determined that it would not be appropriate to respond to your questions at this particular time.’

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5 COMMENTS

  1. What a useless gutless bunch are The Tweed Shire Council (TSC) ?
    With a two years and/or $22,000 fine for those who protest this destruction, why haven’t the police been called ?
    NO ! lets just sit on our hands and wring them pitifully.
    Cheers, G”)

    • Our brave environment defenders get slapped with fines and hauled off to court and in Deanna Violet Coco’s case time in jail.
      Thank you Perrottet, Minns, Toole, NOT.

      Meanwhile when we have deliberate environment destruction by developer, there is no stopping, no deterring.
      Where is Premier Minns and Minister Sharpe?

  2. Wes Maas should be contacted by as many disgruntled residents as possible. People need to lobby their State politicians to have the penalties increased for breaching planning laws and environmental vandalism.

  3. It is no different to the Griffith Irrigator who was fined around $160,000 for stealing water worth over $1M …. where is the deterrent? Fines are simply part of the cost factored in by some developers and some farmers.

  4. Yes . can’t see why they don’t whip into Court and get an injunction. Who are their legal service providers nowadays.

    Cr Polglase hasn’t changed his spots. still part of the die hard white shoe National Party. Developer funded candidates have heaps to spend at elections, not just to promote their toadies, but for smear campaigns against principled candidates. There is little media scrutiny of Local Government elections, but it is where political parties can collect a war chest for State and Federal elections.

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