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Tweed Shire News

Council reaffirms support for Tweed Tourism Co

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Council reaffirms support for Tweed Tourism Co

Tweed Heads Visitor Information Centre to close, staff and volunteers thanked

The Tweed Tourism Company will continue as the Tweed’s official tourism destination body for the next 4 years after Councillors unanimously reaffirmed Council’s commitment to the organisation at last night’s meeting.

The Tweed Tourism Company was appointed by Council in 2018 as the Tweed’s lead tourism organisation for an 8-year term, with this mid-point appraisal reinforcing Council’s confidence in the organisation and its direction for tourism in the region.

General manager of the Tweed Tourism Company Bradley Nardi said the decision reflected the strong performance of the organisation as well as their positive and productive engagement with Council.

“The Tweed Tourism Company and Tweed Shire Council share a strong working relationship and our team is proud to continue our important work here in the Tweed with the ultimate aim of sustainably growing the benefits of tourism for local operators,” Mr Nardi said.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry thanked the organisation for their tireless work over the past 4 years.

“I thank the current contractors, staff and volunteers for all of the work they have done over what has been a very difficult few years for the tourism industry, first with the COVID-19 pandemic and then with the floods,” Cr Cherry said.

“Tourism is an integral part of industry in the Tweed, it supports a significant number of jobs and provides opportunities for the Tweed and it is crucial we continue to move with the times.”

Council’s general manager Troy Green commended the decision as a positive outcome for the stability and prosperity of the Tweed’s tourism future.

“As the Tweed’s lead agency for tourism, the Tweed Tourism Company has demonstrated a high calibre of professionalism and collaboration with local businesses, in particular successfully navigating external challenges that impacted travel and tourism on a national and global scale,” Mr Green said.

The Tweed Tourism Company has led tourism in the region through unprecedented times, including the devastating impacts of fire, floods and COVID-19, including extended closures at the Queensland NSW border.

Mr Nardi said that while the Tweed region had performed well despite these pressures, the changed economic and consumer landscape led to a moderate funding reduction by Council for the coming four-year period.

“This funding change will mostly be absorbed by the business and largely invisible to our service levels,” Mr Nardi said.

“However, one aspect of our business that is not funded moving forward is the Tweed Heads Visitor Information Centre. We know that, as a result of COVID in particular, consumers are now even more reliant on online search and purchase which has further changed how travellers plan and book holidays.”

The Tweed Tourism Company is responsible for managing visitor information centres across the region and, while the Tweed Heads Visitor Information Centre will close in October 2022, there will be no changes to its two other centres at Kingscliff and Murwillumbah.

Mr Nardi acknowledged the commitment of staff and volunteers at the Tweed Heads VIC which has been in operation in its current location since 2006.

“We thank all of the past volunteers and most certainly the 18 current volunteers that have made the centre the friendly place it has been for so long,” he said.

“These wonderful locals have warmly welcomed visitors and helped create countless holiday memories.”

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Kingscliff NSW News

Do You Support an Extension to the Lease of the Kingscliff Temporary Housing Village?

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Kingscliff Temporary Housing Village
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Do You Support an Extension to the Lease of the Kingscliff Temporary Housing Village?

 

Council is seeking community feedback on a proposal to extend the lease on parkland at Kingscliff to accommodate the temporary housing pod for an additional six months. The NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) has requested a six-month extension to the temporary village lease at Elrond Drive, Kingscliff, extending it to December 2025.

The extension would provide additional time for the RA and Northern Rivers Housing (NRH) to support residents into long-term housing and to allow for the decommissioning of the pods during this extension period.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry emphasised the importance of this extension, stating, “There are currently more than 450 households living in 11 temporary housing sites across the region, and a significant waitlist of people still seeking housing support.”

“Kingscliff’s temporary housing village has 31 self-contained housing units which provide a safe and secure home to more than 60 people affected by the 2022 floods. Some residents are waiting for their homes to be rebuilt, while others need to find an affordable rental property,” Cr Cherry added.

While the Council supports this request for a six-month extension, it seeks input from local residents to understand their views on the request before making a final decision.

Council owns the land at 99 Elrond Drive, where the Kingscliff temporary housing village is located. In June 2022, Council entered into a three-year lease of the property with Resilience NSW, now known as the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA). The lease was established for the construction, maintenance, and operation of temporary housing and is set to expire on 16 June 2025.

The temporary housing villages were originally intended to provide up to two years of accommodation for displaced households as a result of the 2022 floods, with the remaining lease period allocated for site restoration. However, due to widespread housing stress and contractor shortages in the region, residents of the temporary housing village face significant obstacles to returning home or securing alternative stable housing.

In November 2023, Council received a request from the NSW RA to extend the lease for an additional two years until June 2027. Following this request, a meeting was hosted by the NSW RA and Council with neighbouring residents in February 2024. During this meeting, the NSW RA indicated the request to extend the lease for two more years (until 2027) had been withdrawn.

In May 2024, Council received a new request from the NSW RA to extend the lease for an additional six months until 31 December 2025. At Council’s meeting on 16 May, it was resolved to agree to this extension, subject to public notification and consultation with residents of the pod village and the wider community.

Additionally, it was resolved to consult with the community to determine the future use of the space. This consultation will take place separately before the end of the lease in December next year.

Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on the extension of the lease before 5 pm on Wednesday, 3 July 2024. Council will consider all submissions before deciding whether to proceed with the extension.

Have your say online at yoursaytweed.com.au/99ElrondDrive, email tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au, or write to the General Manager, Tweed Shire Council, PO Box 816, Murwillumbah, NSW 2484.

 

For more local Kingscliff news, click here.

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Byron Bay News

14 projects share in $300,000 Community Building Partnership pool

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Community Building Partnership Pool
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14 projects share in $300,000 Community Building Partnership pool

 

STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin today (Friday, 7 June) announced that 14 projects had been successful under the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership program for 2023.

Ms Saffin congratulated this round’s recipients and encouraged local organisations developing worthwhile projects to applicants to sign up for alerts about the CBP program so they are notified when information about the next round is confirmed.

“Remember that there is only $300,000 to be spread across the entire electorate each year so please be realistic with the amount of funding sought,” Ms Saffin says.

“The Premier’s Department has introduced strict probity measures around this grant program, including the overlay of independent assessment.”

Recipients of CBP funding for this 2023 round include:   

Lismore City LGA:

The Lismore Soup Kitchen Incorporated – towards improving amenities for volunteers and the hundreds of customers of The Good Pantry Lismore – new cool storage will be purchased and installed. — $33,350.

Lismore Memorial Amateur Swimming Club Incorporated – towards capacity building of competitive swimming in Lismore – $19,353.

Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited – acquisition of night vision goggles (NVG) for its Lismore base – $18,970.

RSL LifeCare Limited – towards commissioning a local artist to install a mural as a war memorial/commemorative space at Chauvel Village Goonellabah, honouring Sir Harry Chauvel, of the Australian Lighthorse. — $5,000.

Tenterfield Shire LGA:

Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism Industry & Business Incorporated – new Tenterfield Visitors Information Centre – shopfront fitout, purchasing and installing free-standing equipment in a newly-leased building – $30,000.

Mingoola Hall Management Committee Incorporated – towards enhancing facilities at Mingoola Hall (fire exit side access to toilets to building code, installing a water tank) — $29,439.

Kyogle LGA:

Kyogle PA&H Society (Kyogle Show) – towards repairing the showground’s three arena surfaces to make them safe for competitors and exhibitors as the ground has become uneven and sloping. – $30,000.

Bonalbo and District Community Hall Association Incorporated – towards removal of ceiling tiles which pose a risk to volunteers and hall users, replacing them with new ones – $16,000.

Country Women’s Association of NSW – Tabulam Branch – towards supplying and installing a 4.5 kw grid connect solar system including panels, inverter, mounting rail and balance of system — $7,700.

The Girl Guides Association of NSW – Kyogle Girl Guide Hall kitchen upgrade (purchase stainless steel materials to replace a kitchen which was destroyed by flood – $5,500.

Tweed Shire LGA:

Uki Sporting Horse Association – towards all weather multi-purpose sand arena (to resurface arena with long-lasting road base and sand, providing a flood-free, safe, all-weather, multi-purpose facility – $30,000.

Coolangatta-Wollumbin (Mount Warning) Dragon Boat Club Incorporated – Wollumbin Transport Vehicle (purchase a vehicle for towing dragon boats to training and regattas. Current 4WD vehicle is old and near the end of its life – $29,000.

Tweed Regional Museum – towards accessible drinking water for Tweed Regional Museum (provision of two accessible drinking fountains, indoor and outdoor, for visitors to the museum – $11,175.

Byron Shire LGA hinterland:

Federal Community Children’s Centre Incorporated – outdoor blind installation and soft fall repair and extension – $34,513.

Electorate-wide total — $300,000.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Rare Encounter: Humpback Whales surprise fishermen in Tweed River

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Fishermen captured footage of two humpback whales that swam into the Tweed River
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Rare Encounter: Humpback Whales surprise fishermen in Tweed River

 

By Sarah Waters

What started as a typical morning of fishing on the bar in the Tweed River, ended in an unexpected surprise for Bryce Piper, 24, and Peter Berger, 37, last Tuesday morning.

The two keen fishermen, from Berger Houseboat Holidays, were coming back into the Tweed Marina at about 7am when two humpback whales came up behind their boat.

“They popped up probably about 10 meters behind us – we drifted in with them – at the entrance of the bar,” Bryce said.

“It was pretty crazy to be honest, it’s not something you can really appreciate unless you understand that whales don’t usually come into the river,” he said.

The whales, believed to be quite young in age, passed Jack Evans Boat Harbour, and went towards the first bend in the Tweed River.

They hung around for about 20 minutes, before making their way back out to sea.

The entrance of the Tweed River which humpback whales came into last Tuesday morning

The entrance of the Tweed River which humpback whales came into last Tuesday morning

Bryce said he has come across humpback whales plenty of times before while he was out fishing or diving in the ocean but had never seen them in the river.

“It was a beautiful morning, the water was crystal clear, sun was out – you honestly couldn’t get much better.

“Being there and seeing that was definitely the best experience.

“They were just flapping around, it’s not like they were stressed – I think it’s because the water quality at the moment is next level, so it doesn’t really surprise me that they came up the river, but I couldn’t tell you why.

“It was close to high tide as well.”

Bryce said the sight of the whales made for a ‘perfect’ morning out on the water.

Peter Berger, 37, maintenance officer at Berger Houseboat Holidays, saw two humpback whales in the Tweed River last week

Peter Berger, 37, maintenance officer at Berger Houseboat Holidays, saw two humpback whales in the Tweed River last week

The two fishermen also caught bonito fish in the river that morning, which is something that doesn’t usually happen.

Commercial fisherman Joel Merchant was spotting for mullet when he also managed to film the humpbacks.

Joel, who was born and bred in the Tweed, said it was the fourth time in about 25 years he has seen humpback whales go into the river.

“They were just adventuring around,” Joel said.

“They were cruising along close, going in for a bit of a look and then cruising back out again, they were more curious.

“It was a lovely morning, and it was so calm – they just sort of cruised in like it was the ocean – they didn’t have to go through the surf breaks or anything,” he said.

Humpback whales pass Australia’s east coast between May and July after a summer of feeding on krill in Antarctic waters.

The whales migrate north to sub-tropical waters, near the Great Barrier Reef, where they give birth.

From September – November they migrate back to the Antarctic.

Australia’s eastern coastline comes alive with the spectacular acrobatic displays of humpback whales during their annual migration of up to 10,000 kilometres.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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