THE community is invited to learn more about an alternative plan for Kingscliff as developers continue to battle with the council over the removal of a patch of key melaleuca vegetation just south of Noble Park.
Gales Holdings, which owns major parcels of land in Kingscliff and Cudgen, has put forward its own vision for the seaside town, including a proposal for a new direct road into Kingscliff and the development of urban parklands south of Noble Park.
But Gales' Kingscliff director Dr Stephen Segal said the council had chosen not to make his proposal public because it contradicts plans to keep approximately 7ha of melaleuca regrowth.
"The melaleuca vegetation that council wants to keep is regrowth on land used for cattle grazing,” Dr Segal said.
"Council doesn't even consider the enormous benefits to the community if the melaleuca is removed.
"So, the end result of council's plans is a clump of melaleuca, fenced off and inaccessible to the public, no new road into Kingscliff, no new masterpiece residential development south of Noble Park and no new urban rainforest and parklands, which Gales would enhance and give to the public as compensation for removing the melaleuca.”
But the council's planning director Vince Connell said the location of the melaleuca vegetation was a key asset of the shire and formed a partial habitat area for the endangered Tweed Brunswick coastal koala population.
"The area of melaleuca forest at this location is a highly depleted coastal wetland vegetation community, with more than 70% cleared across the entire NSW north coast,” MrConnell said.
"It is also located within a landscape where almost all native vegetation has been removed.
"These and other criteria have been recognised by the State Department of Planning and Environment in their Far North Coast Environmental Zone review.
"The ecological values of this vegetation community are recognised through council's local environmental plan, with this area having been zoned as an environmental protection area since at least 2000.
"This particular community also provides habitat for numerous threatened plant and animal species.”
Despite the battle over the melaleuca, Dr Segal said he was disappointed the council had not workshopped his Kingscliff plan with the community.
"Council refuses to tell the community clearly that Gales' plan is to replace the melaleuca with an urban rainforest and parklands on what is currently Gales' private land - a hidden jewel in Kingscliff,” Dr Segal said.
"It just puts forward its plan with a longer and more expensive road, a sub-optimal major intersection right next to Noble Park, and doesn't say that the owner of the land is opposed to the plan and nothing will happen as it is not viable.”
- Gales Community Open Day is on today Saturday, October 14 at 10am
- Meet on the eastern side of Tweed Coast Rd, just south of Noble Park.
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