THE first stage of Jamberoo Action Park's Kangaroo Island development was launched on Friday but the event drew sharp criticism of the Kiama Council.
Park managing director Jim Eddy and Member for Throsby Stephen Jones cut the ribbon on the new Funnel Web water slide and Banjo's Billabong children's play area.
Mr Eddy said he "wouldn't feel right" if he didn't mention the difficulties and expense of getting the $14 million project approved by the council and the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel.
"It's emotionally, physically and financially draining. It's the only way to describe it - it isn't sustainable to go through this process every time you've got to do something; it's madness," he said.
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 had delivered an expectation to residents that they can have a say in any development that takes place in their region, Mr Eddy said.
"But not only how it's developed, how it's operated and that's unrealistic. You cannot do that."
Mr Eddy said it cost the business $1.2 million in 22 consultants' fees to get the development approved after several Jamberoo residents objected to the expansion.
"In this case, every objection that's raised, and there were 70 objections, we've got to pay a consultant to address it," he said.
"That just doesn't work."
Mr Eddy said the state planning review was heading in the right direction, but needed more work.
Kiama mayor Brian Petschler said the project's uniqueness and environmental sensitivity made it a difficult development to deal with.
"It was significant for the area and . . . all the issues needed to be properly addressed," he said.
Member for Gilmore Joanna Gash said she was "over the moon" the development was within the Gilmore electorate.
The Funnel Web has a 100 metre-long slide that shoots rafts of patrons into a funnel before landing in a pool.
The slide is the longest of its type, reaching top speeds of 30kmph.