Clock ticks down to debate on Lot 490 future
PARLIAMENTARY debate into the fate of a proposed "Lot 490" national park in Kingscliff will kick off today after a bill to save the wildlife corridor from developers was introduced.
Labor MP Walt Secord called for the 26ha parcel of land to be rezoned to ensure it remained a coastal reserve rather than be developed with home unit blocks.
"This bill puts a stake through the hearts of those who want to flog Lot 490 to property developers," he said.
"This bill will protect this unique piece of land from the white shoe brigade and their property developer mates.
"As recently as October 2015, the Baird government admitted that its Crown Lands office had declared lot 490 as 'government property' on the register of potential properties to sell."
Mr Secord said news of a native title claim over the land was a "convenient and completely mischievous" delay tactic.
"If the Nationals are serious about this and any other Aboriginal land claim, as a government they should press forward to get determinations over such land rather than placing these claims in a state of limbo," he said.
He said Leighton Properties had once planned to build 180 units, shops, tennis and basketball courts, a bar and a conference centre on the land, which was home to the glossy black cockatoo, blossom bats, two species of wallaby and other threatened plants and animals.
"But also, and even greater, is the threat of the circling Nationals desperately trying any tactic they can to avoid protection for this site," he said.
"At one point, the member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, even proposed a caravan park and a casino."
Mr Secord was the only MP to speak at length on the issue, with the government to give its replies during debate today.
Liberal MP Dr Peter Phelps gave a quick indication of what tone those replies might take.
"And, just like every other national park, it will end up full of feral animals and feral vegetation," he said.