LAND DEVELOPERS vs FOOD SECURITY
Land owners are entitled to sell their land to whomever they choose. Land developers are perfectly entitled to seek approvals for different uses of their land. It is wrong to target these groups as behaving in any way inappropriately, unless they have actually broken the law. Rather, it is the government and public authorities charged with the stewardship of our protected lands who are the ones who must be held to account as always acting in the public interest and in accordance with adopted procedures and policies. That failure is what brought down the previous Labor government and is why this decision also deserves to be examined in the context of political history.
Developers have long had their eye on the Tweed’s red soil farmland – something well documented in the print media. Previous attempts to unlock the last remaining protected farmland in the Tweed have all faltered in the face of community objection. It started way back in the nineties with the Anglican Church’s attempt to convert the farmland opposite Kingscliff TAFE to a private school, and went on from there. This time the government is exercising the extraordinary new powers it recently assigned itself to bypass the previous stumbling blocks – including its own legal prohibitions and community objections. These historical news accounts tabled below speak for themselves. Click on the thumbnails to read them, and then make your own judgement about the wisdom and probity of the government’s decision to proceed as it has.
2011. National Party supports delegation to Sydney to lobby for Cudgen farmland release. Liberals oppose move.
2016. Health Minister sacks several local Hospital Board members without explanation. Seven replacements appointed. (Board support for relocating Tweed Hospital announced not long afterwards.)
2018. General dismay and public criticism of the announced site choice.
2018. Owners of passed-over EoI sites question selection criteria that effectively defined the Cudgen Plateau as only acceptable site choice.
2018. ALP MLC claims Hospital site choice is part of a plan to break up farmland protection on Cudgen Plateau.
2018 ALP MLC speech in Parliament makes serious claims of impropriety.
Greens MLC raises concerns in Parliament over government breaches of its own regional plans and announced policies.