Lift the tempo, says Sartor
By ED SOUTHORN
TWEED Shire probably needs more planners to keep pace with property development demands and population growth, according to NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor.
And Mr Sartor yesterday also acknowledged environmental concerns about the contentious C4 western route for the Tugun Bypass.
"The tempo of the planning work in the Tweed needs to be lifted, we need to get more momentum going," Mr Sar- tor told the Daily News.
He said the shire administrators and planning staff were all "pulling in the right direction" but faster progress was needed to finalise planning instruments for the Tweed Heads CBD and to complete minor outstanding zonings elsewhere.
During a low-profile visit to Tweed Heads yesterday, the former Sydney lord mayor met with Tweed Shire CoAdministrator Max Boyd, shire general manager John Griffin and planning chief Noel Hodges.
Mr Sartor said the NSW Government could possibly fund additional planning staff at Tweed Shire and this may be considered.
He also flew over "sensitive country" under consideration for the Tugun Bypass, in a helicopter with Tweed MP Neville Newell.
Mr Sartor said he was effectively the NSW consent authority for the bypass and he was waiting on a bypass update report from his department.
He said it was inevitable the Pacific Highway would be upgraded across the NSW and Queensland border.
But there were still "grey areas" to be resolved and whether the contentious C4 western route was the best option "is another matter".
But he said he had "no idea yet" if there ought to be a commission of inquiry into the bypass project so far.
Mr Boyd said he understood Mr Sartor might possibly accept an independent inquiry into the bypass and he was pleased Mr Sartor accepted there were major environmental concerns about the C4 route.