Tweed not only a place to holiday

FROM lifestyle destination to economic powerhouse, Tweed's image is poised for a major shake-up, say local business leaders. Tweed Economic Development Corporation boss Tom Senti said selling Tweed solely as a tourist destination was to ignore opportunities for growth in other areas. With development projects totalling more than $600 million currently under way or in planning, Mr Senti said the Tweed was at last "coming of age". The time had come, he said for Tweed to shed its lifestyle tag in favour of a more encompassing, well-rounded image. "Everybody has always talked about the Tweed as a place to visit, but from an industry point of view we should be talking about Tweed as a place to invest and build and work," Mr Senti yesterday. He said Tweed had much to%offer in terms of both lifestyle and industry, with interstate workers at one local company agreeing to take a pay cut to move to the region. "We should be promoting Tweed as a whole-of-destination; a place to work, live and play," he said. "I think we'll be seeing a big shift in the way Tweed is viewed very soon." Mr Senti said improved road infrastructure and travel connections will usher in a new era of economic prosperity for the region, with Tweed's sprawling industrial estates set to deliver a jobs bonanza. Industrial projects, including Murwillumbah's Enterprise Park, predicted to generate upwards of 2000 jobs alone, would help position Tweed as a major regional centre for investment growth, Mr Senti said. "With the advances in modern telecommunications you don't have to be in Melbourne or Sydney to do business. We are within an hour-and-a-half of a major port. I think once the Tugun bypass opens we are going to see more and more opportunities for continued growth," he said. "We are at the centre of the south-east Queensland growth corridor. That growth doesn't stop at the border. We'll be working to make sure the Tweed is a part of that too." Mr Senti said sustained economic growth would also attract a younger demographic, helping wrest Tweed's ageing trend.



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