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Byron Shire
July 13, 2024

Cudgen Creek and headland being ‘loved to death’ – but can anything be done?

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Visitors to Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff.

At this afternoon’s Tweed Shire Council meeting Councillor James Owen will propose that ‘the Cudgen Creek Masterplan be prioritised’ as the area is being ‘loved to death’ by both locals and visitors. However, Council staff have not supported the notice of motion (NoM).

The development of a masterplan was approved by Tweed Council at the 18 February 2021 council meeting. This was followed by a meeting in January 2022 between the Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association (KRPA) and Cr Owen and Mr Stewart Brawley, following which it was determined that it was ‘Council’s intention to proceed with completion of the Masterplan in 2022,’ KRPA President, Peter Newton told The Echo. 

Concerns have been raised in relation to boat ramps conflicting uses, boats and jet skis around bathers; swimmers/snorkellers, walkers, cyclists; environmental damage and erosion in the water and banks; dilapidated infrastructure and accessibility issues among others states Cr Owen’s NoM.

Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff. Photo supplied.

KRPA in support

‘Over some years, KRPA and Council have regularly and positively engaged on “Cudgen Creek matters”, the proposed Masterplan being one example,’ Mr Newton told The Echo.

‘KRPA members have strongly and consistently advocated for management of the creek precinct, particularly in relation to health and safety, access, amenity, environment and erosion. KRPA believes that a shared understanding has been established that the creek is indeed being “loved to death” and action is needed to manage, improve and preserve the integrity of this wonderful Tweed community and tourist icon, both for current and future generations.’

KRPA said that they are in support of Cr Owen’s NoM while recognising ‘that Council needs to establish project priorities with limited resources’.

‘KRPA would argue that the need for this project to commence has moved well beyond normal consideration and being left down the list as part of the standard process. Quite simply, we are at a critical point now and the longer the Masterplan project is delayed, the bigger the risk grows.’

Limited resources

However, the staff report in the council agenda has stated that if the Cudgen Masterplan was to be put forward as a priority then the council would need to either push back other projects or look at outsourcing the masterplan process as the council currently lack either the staff  time or the fiances to see complete the masterplan in house. 

‘The floods added significantly to our workload this year on many fronts including the need to amend the works program to accommodate rebuilds and repairs,’ states the staff report. 

‘Unfortunately, none of the state or commonwealth grants provide additional funding to employ staff to ensure that our normal program of works also can continue concurrently.

‘To undertake the masterplan and complete it in this quarter would be highly ambitious even if we had staff availability…  Further we have no available funding to outsource this work.’

The staff have estimated that financial and other resourcing commitments would be in the order of $250k.

What might get pushed back?

If Tweed councillors seek to approve Cr Owen’s motion and move forward the Cudgen Creek Masterplan, Council staff have said that councillors would need to direct staff as to which other programs they would ‘wish to defer’.

Council staff have outlined the following ten programs that councillors can choose to defer:

  1. Goorimahbah Place of Stories Stage 2; 2. Recreation Park – District Playground and Public Toilet; 3. Ray Pascoe Park – Playground Upgrade and Public Toilet; 4. Jack Evans Boat Harbour – Places to Swim Project; 5. Outdoor Youth Recreation Action Plan; 6. Uki Mountain Bike Park; 7. Pottsville Open Space Masterplan; 8. Burringbar – Masterson Park Concept Design; 9. Jack Evans Boat Harbour – Places to Love Project; or 10. Sport and Active Recreation Strategy.

    Tweed Council meeting

    You can attend the TSC meeting this Thursday, 18 May at the Murwillumbah Council Chambers from 3.30pm or tune in online here to hear councillors discuss and decide on the NoM.

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