THE Planning Department has arrested plans for a new police station on the Cudgen plateau.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest has described the move as throwing money away and said it could mean another year before the station is built.
“Last financial year $200,000 was allocated to planning a new Tweed police station. A site was selected and a development application was submitted,” Mr Provest said, addressing Parliament on November 26.
“It came to light that the Department of Planning has rejected the site selected by the New South Wales Police Force, so the project is back to square one.”
The NSW Police Force lodged an application with Tweed Shire Council in May to build the Kingscliff West Police Station on Cudgen Road and have a subdivision rule waived.
A NSW Department of Planning spokesman said Tweed Shire Council passed the request on to them.
“This variation was requested in order to allow subdivision of the site that would subsequently enable construction of a new police station on 1.15 hectares of the site,” he said.
“The Department refused this request on the grounds that the site is classified as Class 1 Agricultural land and has, in fact, been identified by the NSW Government as State-significant farmland, which would have been fragmented by the proposed subdivision.”
The spokesman said both the department and the council have rejected other applications for subdivision of the site.
“These decisions are consistent with the commitment of the government and council to protect the remaining land of high agricultural value from urban uses in this locality.”
Mr Provest said, from reading between the lines, it was apparent the government spent $200,000 on drawing up plans and submitting a development application for a site the Department of Planning will not approve.
“I'm just appalled with the lack of co-operation between State Government departments.
“It is a bit like tearing up $20 bills on top of the Opera House and throwing them to the wind.
“Meanwhile, the people of the Tweed suffer.”
When elected four years ago, Mr Provest said the electorate was promised a new $15 million police station.
“Initially construction of the new police station was to commence in February 2011, and now we are told that it will be commenced in either June or July.
“The government has not even finalised selection of the site for the new police station.
“We needed a new police station three years ago and now it looks like we have to wait another year.”
A NSW Police spokes-woman said: “NSWPF are currently reviewing site options for the proposed Tweed Heads Police Station.
“A final decision has not been made and as such construction / operational timeline is yet to be determined.”
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