Christmas spirit is 'dead'

THE spirit of Christmas is dead in the streets of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads, according to a local historian.

Thom Hayes of Coolangatta said the Tweed Chamber of Commerce and Gold Coast City Council, who are responsible for the decorations in their respected regions, need a "kick up the bum" for denying the Twin Towns the season.

The noticeable lack of tinsel, fairy lights, banners and other decorations sucked the holiday joy from main roads Griffith Street, Marine Parade and Wharf Street, making the bordering towns appear "boring and dull", with no indication of the holiday season, Mr Hayes said.

"You would not know it was Christmas if you visited Tweed Heads," he said.

"It has been like this for the past 20 years. Something needs to be done."

Mr Hayes reminisced about the glitz and glamour of Christmas in Coolangatta and Tweed Heads half a century ago.

"In the 50s and 60s it was a sea of lights all the way to Tweed Heads down Griffith Street and into Wharf Street," he said.

"From Christmas Eve until New Year's Eve they would shut down the streets at night and hold a fair. Tweed Heads and Coolangatta used to be the most wonderful places on the Coast at Christmas time."

Decorations in Coolangatta are the responsibility of the Gold Coast City Council while in Tweed Heads it falls under the jurisdiction of the Tweed Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Hayes said he called both Gold Coast City Council and Tweed Shire Council over the matter.

"I asked the Gold Coast council and they said it's up to the individual councillors." Gold Coast councillor Chris Robbins, whose division includes Coolangatta, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

A Tweed Shire Council spokesman said it is up to individual chambers of commerce groups to provide the decoration for their respected CBDs, and that the Murwillumbah CBD was already decorated.

"The council never puts them up, it is up to the individuals chambers," the spokesman said.

"Council however does pay for labour and equipment to put banners and decorations up."

"The Tweed Chamber of Commerce needs a good kick up the bum," Mr Hayes said.

Tweed Chamber of Commerce president Michael Tree said people do not understand how much Christmas decorations cost retailers.

"The Chamber doesn't have the funds to provide Christmas decorations in public areas," Mr Tree said.

"Retailers tend to decorate internally or provide on-site decorations."



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