Owner of the River Heads Cafe, Nathan Baker. Photo: Stuart Fast
Owner of the River Heads Cafe, Nathan Baker. Photo: Stuart Fast

Residents react to River Heads mega project rejection

THE decision to quash a multi-million dollar River Heads retirement village has been met with mixed reactions in the picturesque town.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley last month knocked back the Turtle Cove retirement village proposal.

The proposed development would have included 500 units, a hotel, aged care centre and a solar power plant in wetlands home to the critically endangered eastern curlew.

Owner of the River Heads Cafe Nathan Baker said he supported the Turtle Cove idea as it would have given retirees a place to go and bring needed development to the area.

While he was supportive, he understood the environmental reasons behind the decision.

Mr Baker said developers needed to respect wildlife, sharing fears that wildlife could be wiped out in the name of progress.

The eastern curlew would have been put at risk by a major River Heads development.
The eastern curlew would have been put at risk by a major River Heads development.

River Heads resident Greg Currie also supported the idea of the retirement village, saying it would have given the community an industry it currently lacked.

Despite his support for the project, Mr Currie said it was the right decision to stop the development, due to the potential impact on native curlews.

River Heads property owner Gary Jensen echoed earlier comments, saying he would like to preserve the pristine area.

He said he trusted the judgement of the professionals who made the decision.

Mayor George Seymour welcomed the decision to quash the retirement home development, likening it to the Traveston Dam knock-back.

Members of the Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee also welcomed the federal decision.