Green workshop for Cobaki, Kings
AFTER much debate over who should be responsible for the care of environmentally sensitive land at development sites Kings Forest and Cobaki, Tweed Shire councillors agreed to hold a workshop to find middle ground on the issue at this month's general meeting.
Cr Dot Holdom said there was a need for councillors to see eye to eye on the matter.
"If the seven of us sat down to knit a sock, we would end up knitting seven," she said.
"You can have all the talk fest you want.
"But at the end of the day, we have to look after the interests of ratepayers.
"If we are not careful, ratepayers will be stiffed over this.
"Developers are risk takers and with that comes responsibility."
She said there were many options in seeking a solution and a workshop would be an opportunity to discuss them.
Cr Warren Polglase said there were bridges to be mended over the issue.
The developer, LEDA, accidentally cleared protected bushland at Kings Forest early last year within Cudgen Nature Reserve.
The council also went into third-party mediation with the developer last February when LEDA claimed an anti-development bias from council's planning officers.
Cr Joan van Lieshout and Cr Katie Milne also pushed for a workshop session to bring the proponent, council staff and councillors to the table for discussion.
"We have around 300 hectares of land that someone has to maintain," Cr Kevin Skinner said.
"But there's no big slush fund to look after them."
The council's Natural Resource Management report stated that the long-term cost of managing the impacts of the developments on the environmental lands within and around the development footprints was a major concern.
In managing weeds, feral animals, threatened species, bush fire and water quality for example, the report suggested the council did not have the resources and that the areas should be included in the National Park estate to be managed accordingly.