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Tweed Shire News

Mayor welcomes ‘well-considered’ Independent Flood Inquiry

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Mayor welcomes ‘well-considered’ Independent Flood Inquiry

Rapid response on flood planning, land swap and buy-back programs needed

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry said she was impressed with the expansive work and detailed consideration evident in the Independent Flood Inquiry report released yesterday.

Releasing the 323-page report in Lismore yesterday, Premier Dominic Perrottet said of the 28 recommendations made by the report’s authors, Professor Mary O’Kane AC and former NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller APM, his government had accepted 6 immediately with the remaining 22 recommendations supported in-principle, pending further work and consultation with key stakeholders.

Some key recommendations include:

  • Reshaping Resilience NSW to become Recovery NSW to ensure a more streamlined agency focused on the first 100 days post a disaster
  • Migration off high-risk floodplains over time using a mixture of planning controls, land swaps, buy-backs and leveraging private investment in new developments
  • Creation of a full time Deputy Commissioner of Police focused on emergency management
  • Training for the community to assist with their ability to respond and recover from disasters; as well as greater training and support for the SES
  • Greater emphasis on affordable housing in the Northern Rivers, with adaptation plans for towns also to be developed over the next 3-5 years.

Cr Cherry said she was pleased with the report’s findings which would take some time to digest.

“There is an incredible amount of data and learnings in this report and I sincerely thank Professor Mary O’Kane and Mick Fullerton for their work and the care and consideration that is evident in the report,” Cr Cherry said.

“It will take a while to digest all of the information. In terms of the 28 recommendations, I am pleased to see a number of Council’s main advocacy points have been incorporated into the final document.

“The combining of the back-end of our SES and Rural Fire Service so they can operate together more seamlessly is a great example of this, as is the training of our community to be prepared for floods in the same way we are prepared for fire.”

However, Cr Cherry said the community had waited long enough and answers were needed now on a comprehensive response to move people off the floodplain.

“The sentence that strikes me most is that the ‘2022 floods must become the catalyst for change in the way governments and the community considers floods and floodplains’,” she said.

“Flood planning and land swap or buy-back programs are one of the main points of interest for Council and I hope we can see a detailed response to this recommendation coming forward as soon as possible.”

Mr Perrottet said the new Reconstruction and Disaster Prevention Authority would begin work immediately on the buyback and land swap schemes, with expressions of interest to be opened by the end of August.

The findings and recommendations followed an extensive Inquiry, which received 1,494 submissions and held 144 meetings with stakeholders, including a community forum at Tumbulgum on 4 May 2022.

Council also made a written submission to the inquiry following its adoption at the May Council meeting.

Tweed Shire was severely hit by the record February-March flood, with more than 2,100 homes damaged and an estimated 1,600 residents displaced by the event. Council estimates the damage to public infrastructure, including roads and Council buildings, will cost up to $100 million to repair.

To view the full Independent Flood Inquiry Report, visit nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/projects-and-initiatives/floodinquiry.

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Residents and Industry Specialists Invited to Shape Future of Events in Tweed

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Events in Tweed

Residents and Industry Specialists Invited to Shape Future of Events in Tweed

 

Residents and industry specialists are invited to help shape the future of events and sponsorship in the Tweed Shire, ensuring the region attracts and supports activities that highlight its natural beauty, creativity, and culinary strengths.

Two key documents, the draft Tweed Events Strategy 2024-2028 and the draft Events Sponsorship Policy, have been placed on public exhibition for review and feedback.

The draft Tweed Events Strategy 2024-2028 aims to guide the sustainable growth, development, and delivery of events that are uniquely suited to the region. It is complemented by the draft Events Sponsorship Policy, which outlines the framework for event support, detailing eligibility criteria, assessment processes, and funding conditions.

Mayor Chris Cherry emphasised the importance of community involvement in shaping the future of the local events industry. “Events play a crucial role in boosting our economy by attracting visitors, creating jobs, and supporting local businesses,” Cr Cherry said. “By fostering a vibrant events scene, we can ensure economic growth and wellbeing. From arts, music, and cultural festivals to foodie celebrations, sporting competitions, markets, and community events, they all play a vital role in bringing our community together.”

Cr Cherry highlighted that the Tweed is at an exciting stage as an attractive and sustainable event destination. “These draft documents outline Council’s commitment to fostering events that align with the Tweed’s unique identity and community values. If the Events Strategy sets the tone and vision for attracting and supporting uniquely Tweed events, then the Sponsorship Policy acts as the playbook, defining specific guidelines and procedures to bring these plans to action.”

The draft Tweed Events Strategy 2024-2028 outlines the sustainable growth, development, and delivery of events tailored for the region. The draft Events Sponsorship Policy details who is eligible for support, how events will be assessed, and the conditions for receiving funding.

Residents and industry representatives are encouraged to review the draft Events Strategy 2024-2028 and draft Events Sponsorship Policy and share their feedback by 4 pm on Wednesday, 31 July 2024.

Visit here to share your thoughts and help the Council create a vibrant, inclusive, and successful event scene in the Tweed for everyone to enjoy.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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Northern Rivers Rail Trail Earns Tripadvisor’s Coveted Traveler’s Choice Award

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The Northern Rivers Rail Trail has earned Tripadvisor’s coveted Travelers’ Choice Award, ranking it in the top 10% of attractions worldwide. Credit: The Tweed Tourism Co.

Northern Rivers Rail Trail Earns Tripadvisor’s Coveted Traveler’s Choice Award

 

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail has been honoured with Tripadvisor’s prestigious Travelers’ Choice Award, ranking it among the top 10% of attractions worldwide. This award celebrates attractions that have consistently received exceptional traveller reviews on the global travel review website, Tripadvisor, over the past year.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry acknowledged this remarkable achievement, emphasizing its significance in promoting the Rail Trail on the world stage. “It’s absolutely thrilling to see our Northern Rivers Rail Trail recognized among the world’s top attractions. It highlights how the Rail Trail has become a major visitor attraction for the Northern Rivers,” Cr Cherry said. “It has certainly become part of our region’s allure and now with the Richmond Valley section open, it is likely to bring even more visitation and economic benefit to the region.”

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail is a shared recreation and nature trail, offering a new and essential experience in the region. It is accessible and free for people of all ages and abilities. The first 24 km section of the Rail Trail, stretching from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek, opened on 1 March 2023. Since then, the Tweed section has welcomed more than 146,000 users, including locals, domestic, and international visitors.

In March 2024, the second section from Casino to Bentley in the Richmond Valley, covering 13.4 km, opened to the public. Meanwhile, construction of the 16.3 km section from Lismore to Bentley is progressing well and is expected to open later this year. Eventually, the Rail Trail will extend to connect with Byron and Lismore, spanning a total of 132 km. The trail provides a safe environment for walkers, cyclists, and people of all abilities to explore the stunning Northern Rivers region.

The establishment of the Rail Trail is part of Tweed Shire Council’s commitment to offering the community opportunities for active and healthy living, while also enhancing the Tweed as a desirable place to live and visit. Mayor Cherry underscored the multifaceted benefits of the Rail Trail, noting its role in boosting local tourism and economy, as well as promoting wellness and outdoor activities among residents.

For those interested in more information about the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, visit northernriversrailtrail.com.au. To explore more about the Traveler’s’ Choice Award recipients, visit Tripadvisor.

This recognition not only cements the Northern Rivers Rail Trail’s status as a must-visit destination but also showcases the successful efforts of the local community and government in preserving and promoting the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of the Northern Rivers region.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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Council Seeks Community Feedback on New Car Park Plans in Bogangar

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Council Seeks Community Feedback on New Car Park Plans in Bogangar

 

The Council is inviting community feedback on plans to build a new ground-level car park in Hastings Road, Bogangar, adding 52 parking spaces to the popular Tweed Coast village.

The proposed car park will be located on Council-owned land beside the children’s centre in Hastings Road, just south of the back entrance to Woolworths supermarket. This site has been designated for car park use since 2005, with initial plans for a multi-level car park. However, at the recent Council meeting in May 2024, Councillors agreed to pursue a more cost-effective ground-level option, estimated at up to $400,000, rather than a 4-level car park costing over $11 million.

Key features of the proposed ground-level car park include:

  • 52 parking spaces
  • Central bay lighting for safety
  • Prohibition of overnight parking
  • A shared pedestrian zone with clear signage
  • A maximum speed limit of 10 km/h

Manager Roads and Stormwater Danny Rose emphasised the importance of local input. “Bogangar is one of the Tweed Coast’s most popular destinations for visitors and residents and has grown significantly over the past 20 years,” Mr. Rose said. “The proposed new car park should help ease parking pressures, particularly in summer when the beaches and cafes are thriving. We’ve been consulting with adjacent business owners, neighbours, and community representatives over the past year, but there’s still an opportunity for the community to provide additional feedback.”

The Council has engaged with key stakeholders, including neighbouring property owners, tenants, and community groups such as the Cabarita Progressive Business Association, Cabarita Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Lions Club of Cabarita Beach Pottsville Beach Inc, and the Cabarita Beach Bogangar Residents Association Inc. These consultations have helped shape the current proposal, which aligns with Developer Contribution Plan No. 23, funding this initiative.

The landscaping strategy for the car park incorporates a permeable soil cell system to promote tree health and protect infrastructure assets. Tree species like Watergums, Lilly Pilly, and Red Cottonwood will be planted for their shade capabilities and low maintenance requirements.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to review the design plan and landscaping overview at yoursaytweed.com.au/caba-public-car-park and complete a short survey by Sunday, 4 August 2024.

“Your valuable input will play a key role in finalising the project proposal for the Engineering Sub-Portfolio Board, ensuring thorough consideration of engineering details and financial impacts,” Mr. Rose added.

For more information and to provide feedback, visit the project page or contact the Council directly.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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