Letters to the Editor

Musical: Lumen Christi students share a laugh before taking the stage for their production of Beauty and the Beast last week. More pictures page 12. Picture: Mel Leach
Musical: Lumen Christi students share a laugh before taking the stage for their production of Beauty and the Beast last week. More pictures page 12. Picture: Mel Leach

Not so harmonious way

Ms Hepburn (MNW 12/7) and the Living with Nature at Tura Beach group continue to misrepresent the views of the North Tura Beach Residents Association for the future of an approximately two hectare tract in the vicinity of Dolphin Cove/The Point, Tura Beach which comprises less than three per cent of the Tura Headlands Coastal Reserve (THCR).

Ms Hepburn accuses the NTBRA of wishing “to destroy the natural vegetation” and of wishing to “finally destroy the remaining wildlife corridors in the area.  This is untrue.  When land sales began in the area it was predominantly open grassland and there are volumes of photographic evidence to confirm this.  The area concerned was not natural bushland as Ms Hepburn would claim, nor was it ever intended to be.

It did over time become overgrown, was a fire risk and was unsightly due to a number of factors, including unplanned and uncoordinated planting, and inadequate maintenance by Council over a number of years. A group of concerned residents then stepped in to fill the void and maintain the area.  In more recent times this activity has been curtailed following a small number of complaints to Council about the extent of this maintenance.

The need to resolve this situation led to the establishment of the NTRBA and a proposal to Council for the future development and maintenance of this area.  The proposal is consistent with Council’s current planning documentation, namely Local Environment Plan (LEP) 2013, and the zoning and land use contained in it. 

At no stage does the proposal advocate wholesale land clearance as alleged; and, it acknowledges the importance  of wildlife corridors and makes provision for these to be retained.  The Living with Nature counter-proposal, on the other hand, plans to reduce the size of the existing Asset Protection Zone (APZ) and enforce this with the installation of bollards, resulting in restricted access to, and further shrinkage of, land currently  zoned RE 1, open public recreation.

The NTRBA proposal also includes establishment of public private partnership whereby through its interaction with Council it might seek government grants to fund its activities. This would be a similar arrangement to that Ms Hepburn already is associated with Council and through which she obtains funding for the organization Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness.

NTRBA members, perhaps naively, had hoped that the meeting organised by Council on 29 June would provide a forum in which to discuss differences and seek common ground.  This did not eventuate.  Council moderators, although familiar with the NTRBA proposal, disallowed any effort to introduce discussion of the Dolphin Cove/The Point area.  They argued the meeting was about the THCR which subsumed the smaller area and by inference that any concerns relating to it were of only peripheral interest.

Finally, Ms Hepburn has observed, correctly, that “the natural surroundings were a key factor in our choice of location for our homes.”  But Ms. Hepburn should acknowledge there are many residents whose residency pre-dates her own and whose aspirations for the environment may differ from hers.  They also are entitled to have a voice in this matter, as much as - if not more so - than those residing elsewhere.

Barrie Bradshaw, Tura Beach

Tale of two attenuators 

John Henry’s letter (Magnet 3/7) is entirely predicated on the assumption that only one wave attenuator is to be built at Eden. 

His case is that the “one wave attenuator” is to be built either at Snug Cove, or at Cattle Bay. This is a myth which is all too frequently stated, one which is certainly not based on any fact.

The developer of the Eden Marina at Cattle Bay has repeatedly stated they do not regard the Snug Cove marina as a competitor. The Eden Marina developer has no issue with a wave attenuator at Snug Cove, nor a marina at Snug Cove.

The facts behind Eden Resort Hotel and Eden Marina at Cattle Bay are straightforward and overwhelming. The business case for the wave attenuator at Cattle Bay, to be funded by the NSW Government on Crown Land, is extremely robust. 

A relatively small investment by government will release a $130m international hotel and marina project at Cattle Bay which will bring sustained employment and change the face of Eden for the better.

The merits for a wave attenuator at Snug Cove are strong, just as the merits of wave attenuation at Cattle Bay are strong. 

Where is it set in stone that there can only be one wave attenuator funded in Eden? Such restricted thinking will serve only to limit the economic development of Eden and the Sapphire Coast, not to mention limit sorely needed local job opportunities.

Governments of all persuasions throughout Australia build breakwaters and wave attenuators on Crown Land for the benefit of the related assets which can then be developed.  The Eden Marina at Cattle Bay is asking to be treated no differently. 

There is an approved marina at Cattle Bay, ready to go. In this respect the Eden Marina at Cattle Bay project is many, many years ahead of the proposed marina at Snug Cove.

Finally, John Henry is of the belief that the Eden Marina at Cattle Bay will not provide for the boating public. 

Again, this statement is factually incorrect as the DA approval for the marina requires the marina operator to provide a number of visitor berths which are available to the boating public. 

The boating public will be able to berth at the marina, enjoy a fine lunch at the restaurant attached to the 4-and-a-1⁄2 star international hotel, and then be away.

Together with Snug Cove, the visitor capacity at the Cattle Bay marina will enhance the appeal of Eden and create the opportunity for even more boaters to call by and enjoy this wonderful region.

Bob Carter, spokesperson for Eden Marina at Cattle Bay