Do what’s right for Kingscliff
AN 85-YEAR attachment to Kingscliff plus local events have sparked reflection.
In 1980 Bill and I moved permanently to Kingscliff, unaware of Tweed councillors’ decision to disregard directives regarding coastal development issued by the Departments of Planning and of Public Works.
Not too long after we’d settled in, two surfers had dropped a pamphlet in our letterbox urging residents to attend a public meeting to object to high-rise proposals in Kingscliff.
We became core members of the newly-formed Kingscliff Resident Action Group.
KRAG set principles that were adopted by community groups and their candidates across the Shire: considered, objective, legislation-based assessment of proposals and factual presentation of information.
Following resident groups, councillors and community organisations continued to hold to KRAG principles, initiated disciplinary investigations by Planning and Local Government Departments and contributed to the Daley Inquiry and the council’s dismissal.
It was an approach that should have continued when the council reconvened in 2008 with newly-appointed staff chosen for their high professional skills. But this didn’t happen.
Memories of actions by large development entities that relied on manipulation of planning legislation and support from like-minded councillors had been stirred when Leighton Holdings became the preferred developer of the government-planned tourism development on Lot 490. Petitioning had been chosen as the tool to give quick voice to objections.
Ramped-up petitioning, however, has brought growing disregard for the principles formulated to ensure honest decisionmaking. There’s been deliberate manipulation of the past to foster nostalgia and fear of change, and to reignite old grudges.
The community has been tricked into believing residents’ “wants” should take precedence over professional expertise and real needs.
Personal aggrandisement has been pursued by too many, “bovver boys” have stirred dissent and created spectacles that have played on the need of individuals to fill personal empty spaces.
Grubby political acts have added a nasty edge.
Decency, integrity and humanity are values abandoned by too many. Kingscliff is the poorer.
— Barbara Fitzgibbon, Kingscliff
LOOKING FORWARD: Kingscliff is forever changing.