By ED SOUTHORN
A CREMATORIUM could soon be operating on the same site as an international tourist destination in the Tweed, according to former Tweed MP Don Beck.
The Melaleuca Station tourism business already has a new look ? a large boat cut from its familiar hedge row near the Tweed Valley Way turn off.
But bigger changes are planned by Mr Beck and wife Lynne, a former Tweed mayor, to establish a crematorium and mortuary at the landmark site, which offers an Aussie farm-style experience mostly for package tours and school groups.
The Becks are hoping to soon receive Tweed Shire Council approval to build the crematorium and mortuary buildings on the southern side of their 200-acre site.
Mr Beck said the crematorium would be situated away from the familiar old-style train station building used for the tourist operation.
He said most of the Melaleuca Station tourists were in group bookings and these would be managed so as not to coincide with any large funerals.
He also said there was sufficient car-parking space to accommodate a crema-torium.
Mr Beck said Tweed Shire administrators and planners were examining amendments to a development application for the crematorium, which he says is permissible under the property's agricultural-type zoning. He said he understood the amendments were due for formal consideration in the next few weeks.
"We have had meetings with the administrators and it's ticking along," Mr Beck said.
He said he was hopeful building work for the crematorium and mortuary would start in the next few months.
The Becks own funeral director agencies at Murwillumbah, the Tweed Coast and Tweed Heads.
Tweed Shire co-administrator May Boyd declined to comment yesterday.