Copacabana resident unhappy with closed shop committee

Letter to the editor

[Forum] As a long term resident of Copacabana, and an original 5 Lands walker, it is with great distress that I have observed a wonderful low key community based idea morph into a takeover by a few individuals, with more concern for their power and position than the people of our lands.

I reference the 5 Lands Walk Inc., now run as a closed shop, as witnessed at their recent AGM. The mantra for 5 Lands is “People to people and people to place”, but by people it seems to mean only those approved by the committee, otherwise you cannot be a member or have a say. When it comes to place, the mantra seems to be “the beauty we have will be irrevocably changed, tourist first, residents last”. Take Winney Bay Reserve, once traversed by local fishermen and bushwalkers via adequate tracks, is now a paved roadway with a second run of hundreds of meters of concrete steps, all at the behest of 5 Lands Walk Inc.

Trees, many with bird attracting hollows, have been felled, and cleansing rains will no longer be able to nourish the bush tracks. Total spend $10m dollars, whilst Copacabana has no safe road or footpath to the existing Captain Cook and Winney Bay Lookouts, Community consultation has, sadly, been lacking, as this scheme has progressed. Of the $10m, $4.6m is still to be spent. The burning question is, can it be diverted from the proposed additional road, pathways a bridge and third lookout, to better use by the community? The recent Council survey did not adequately address this issue.

Email, Nov 14 Elaine Odgers Norling, Copacabana