(KI) Advertiser article 21 December 2017

KI group tees off over golf course plan

THE potential sale of coastal land to developers of a $30 million golf course and resort on Kangaroo Island will set a dangerous precedent and endanger native vegetation and fauna, environmentalists have warned.

The State Government plans to sell Crown Land on the island’s south-east coast to allow construction of a planned links-style course dubbed The Cliffs Kangaroo Island and designed by the team behind fabled Cape Wickham golf course on Tasmania’s King Island.

Environment group, Eco Action Kangaroo Island spokesman Bob Huxtable said the disposal set an “extremely dangerous” precedent in selling prime coastal land to a private developer.

But a spokesman for the Environment Department said selling the site would have little impact on the public.

“This section of crown land has limited practical public access points and it is difficult to access the coast from the clifftops,” the spokesman said.

The planned sale of the 2km stretch of beach side property has been put for public consultation with submissions closing on Friday.

In its submission, Eco Action Kangaroo Island argued the sale or lease of the land could endanger the breeding of white-bellied sea eagles and existence of local fauna species.

“We don’t think the government has given enough consideration to the environmental impacts,” Mr Huxtable said.

“It is our view that all coastal land owned by the Crown should remain as such for the benefit of future generations, not the short-term enjoyment of a few.”

The golf course, declared a major project in February 2014, was given development approval in 2016.

A PRIME coastal stretch of Crown Land is set to be

The prime coastal stretch of Crown Land (in blue) is estimated to worth around $800,000.

The project was taken over by new owners Kangaroo Island Links – backed by horse trainer Michael Freeman – who in May secured approval to redesign the course.

KI Links director Andrew Purchase said his company had an existing lease on the site which allowed construction of the course.