Tweed boost with jobs boom
MURWILLUMBAH business leaders are predicting a jobs boom for the town which will re-establish it as the commercial heart of the Tweed.
They forecast thousands of jobs will be created as a giant new industrial estate takes shape on the eastern fringe of the town.
Construction is expected to start on the first factories within five months with long-term jobs following by the end of the year.
Blocks of industrial land in the Tweed Valley Enterprise Park in Wardrop Valley, just east of the existing industrial area either side of the Murwillumbah airstrip, have almost sold out.
Murwillumbah District Business Chamber president Phil Youngblutt said the estate would herald the re-
building of Murwillumbah as the major centre of the Tweed.
It would provide new jobs and an economic boost for existing retailers.
"There's a hell of a percentage of people on the Tweed who go over the border to work because there's not enough work here. This will provide jobs," Mr Youngblutt said.
"It will be a boost the town really needs retailwise too.
"It is the start of the rebuilding of Murwillumbah. The town will really come back into its own.
"It will be a few years, of course, but something like this is self-generating."
Mr Youngblutt said Murwillumbah had "sat in the doldrums" for too long since the demise of the local banana industry.
"We need this industrial estate to take over after the big decrease in the number of people employed in agriculture," he said.
Tweed Economic Development Corporation chief executive Tom Senti said the industrial estate represented a new beginning, not just for Murwillumbah but for the Tweed.
"There's obviously a flowon effect. When you create jobs that's money for people to spend," he said.
"I think the new industrial estate will be an economic driver for the Tweed."
Mr Senti said that many of the workers in the new estate would not necessarily live in Murwillumbah but they would commute from other areas, such as the Tweed Coast.