Big money already spent on HQ

MORE than $600,000 has been spent on a new Tweed-Byron police headquarters with building approval still uncertain and Tweed MP Geoff Provest saying he prefers a different site.

Mr Provest yesterday said he would be seeing staff of Planning Minister Brad Hazzard today to discuss his opposition to the proposed $8 million police headquarters planned for the site of the current Kingscliff Police Station and adjacent to houses and units in Marine Pde.

On Monday night members of the Northern Region Joint Regional Planning Panel indicated they would approve the new headquarters if the police force made more car parking available.

But that remains uncertain due to a departmental policy banning police staff and visitors from parking in the grounds of police stations.

Mr Hazzard, as planning minister, has the power to overrule any decision or conditions set by the planning panel.

Mr Provest revealed $600,000 had been spent so far - $200,000 on a site at Cudgen ruled out by the previous Labor government because it would be on prime agricultural land and $400,000 on current plans.

He added that although he wanted the best resources for the police the "police force seems hell-bent on the Marine Pde site".

Mr Provest said a Chinderah site recommended in 1994 by former Tweed police officer Ian Spiers for a combined emergency services centre in a submission to the then police minister and current planning panel chairman Garry West, was still available.

He said that was the land suggested recently by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority as a potential site for a northbound service station and truck stop near the Chinderah round- about, but nearby residents had told him they "don't want it".

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