Mega-city?fears forTweed shire

A LEADING development commentator has warned the Tweed could lose its distinct village atmosphere to a "mega city" stretching from Noosa to the Tweed River.

Northern Rivers Regional Development Board chairman Ian Oelrichs has urged local councils, regional associations and the State Government to work towards a vision to maintain the region's unique feel before it is too late.

Speaking off the back of an Australian Institute of Landscape Architects conference recently, he said a developing 200-mile city could result in urban sprawl that wipes out distinct villages.

"This huge city from the border to Noosa has no distinct original areas," he said.

"People don't want to see the Northern Rivers go the way of south-east Queensland. People live here for the environment.

"We are the little guys. We still live in villages and must be agile to preserve what we have."

Mr Oelrichs said it was time for the Tweed to take control of its future and manage its population explosion with intelligence.

"The Tweed is at the knifeedge of having a successful future economy and quality of life, or going the other way and having economic success but an ordinary lifestyle," he said.

In a departure from usual criticism, he said the border could help the Tweed retain its values.

"If the border wasn't there the flow would come down."

He also said the secret was developing industries around the Tweed's lifestyle and climate.

"If we can articulate a more precise vision for the region it will make it more predictable for businesses and the development community, who will see the steps to success," he said.

Tweed Shire mayor Warren Polglase said the Tweed Futures document endorsed by council last week set out the Shire's future direction and accounted for many of Mr Oelrichs concerns, including village's futures.

"Maybe we can send him a copy," he said.

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