Council round-up with Mayor Milne
MAYORAL MESSAGE with Katie Milne
AT LAST Thursday's council meeting, Councillors Polglase, Allsop, Owen and Byrnes voted to discontinue the rezoning process to prohibit commercial water extraction for water bottling purposes.
This decision came after the NSW Department of Planning told council they were not going to allow the removal of this use from council's planning controls without actual evidence of harm to the environment.
The Tweed Water Alliance had requested council defer the decision so they could provide council with an independent scientific report to support council in the rezoning, but the majority of councillors voted to try to put in place tighter controls to better regulate the activity instead.
Council has been facing extreme concern from communities where water bottling operations are expanding or new extractions proposed.
There is deep scepticism in the community about the security of local underground water reservoirs after seeing the mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin.
There is also angst over the water trucks hurtling along substandard rural roads, causing the roads to deteriorate at a significant cost to ratepayers, and impacting on safety and amenity for the locals.
THE Chinderah Village centre development (next to the pub) was approved at this council meeting also, but I have lodged a rescission motion with Crs Cooper and Cherry, so it will be debated again at the August meeting.
The plan is for a large new hotel and bottle shop to the north of the site (1950sqm), with an IGA style supermarket (1400sqm), a few local shops (450sqm), and non-retail (300sqm) to the south of the site.
This important and scenically prominent site on the spectacular river front at Chinderah deserves careful consideration. I would love to see the developer sit down with the community to make sure this fits in with their aspirations for the site.
I am not convinced this plan is the best outcome for the site.
The NSW Coastal Design Guidelines identify that coastal villages should have small-scale shops rather than larger uses that dominate the space.
It does seem that more variety of uses on the site would create a greater diversity of cultural activities for residents and tourists, rather than just a pub and a supermarket.
Some of the neighbours are also very worried about the extent of filling across the site, the traffic access points onto surrounding residential streets and the scale of the development.
Rural Lands Strategy
A workshop with the Department of Primary Industries was held last week to get a better understanding of their concerns in regard to increasing development potential in council's Rural Lands Strategy.
The department warned council of the serious potential for conflict of land use that may fetter the agricultural capabilities of the land if the land was opened up to more uses.
The value of the shire as a reliable area for agricultural due to the high rainfall was highlighted as a significant factor to be considered especially in light of climate change.
- Tweed Mayor Katie Milne submits an exclusive monthly column to the Tweed Daily News. To contact her, email KMilne@tweed.nsw.gov.au