Business says no to people freeze

By PETER CATON

A WARNING by Tweed Shire Council administrator Max Boyd that a freeze on any population increase in the Tweed could be necessary "sooner rather than later" has stunned the business sector and conservationists.

Mr Boyd told a council water forum that a moratorium on further population growth might soon be needed because the Tweed did not have the land and water to support more people.

Yesterday business spokespeople condemned the remarks and a leading conservationist expressed surprise Mr Boyd had been so forthright.

"It's extremely surprising," said Tweed Chamber of Commerce president Michael Tree.

"It would be more appropriate to talk in terms of how we are planning for continued growth of the region. Population freezes are the quickest way to spell the end of a town.

"Do we wait for a person to drop off the perch before we let another person in the gate?

"If we lock the doors to the Tweed, pretty soon business will decide it's not worth investing here."

Murwillumbah and District Business Chamber president Phil Youngblutt said the idea of a population cap was "quite stupid".

"I can't see it being necessary on the Tweed," he said.

"We have ample water and we have all the facilities we require.

"Raising Clarrie Hall Dam and planning for a dam at Byrill Creek will take us through the century."

Murwillumbah conservationist Jim Warburton said he was surprised, and while he agreed the Tweed lacked enough water for substantial population growth he believed there was ample land.

"Sydney has this push to get the population out of the city. They will find land here but there just isn't enough water," he said.

"Instead of saying we don't want any more population we should say the population has to look after the environment. "But it's good Max said it because not a lot of people would not have been game to say that."



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