MURWILLUMBAH businesses are breathing a sigh of relief because the final funds for the town's CCTV cameras have been granted.
Installation of the security cameras, to be fitted in the CBD and Knox Park, can now begin after Richmond MP Justine Elliot yesterday announced $1.29 million in funding for community projects.
Of the Federal Government funding, $100,000 will go toward the 24-hour unmanned CCTV cameras in Murwillumbah.
The town has in recent times had problems with public drinking and anti-social behaviour - the latest incident occurring on the weekend when up to 100 drunken youths spilled from the town's nightspots and began brawling and smashing store windows.
Police said if the town's CCTV cameras had been installed, it would have been easier for them to identify the main offenders.
Chris Wheeler, from Wheelers Real Estate, one of the businesses to have its windows smashed, said the installation of cameras was long overdue.
“We've been wanting it for a long time, so it's good news,” said Mr Wheeler, who was at his store at 3am on Saturday cleaning up the broken glass.
“We've had about five or six broken windows in the past.”
Mr Wheeler said he was hoping the cameras would act as deterrent for troublemakers.
“It is very timely, so I think it is going to be good for the town,” he said.
Business Chamber president and Tweed councillor Phil Youngblutt said with the total funding of about $160,000, the cameras would be better than expected.
“It's going to be top quality wireless microwave cameras - the latest in technology,” Cr Youngblutt said.
The CCTV cameras are one of six Tweed projects able to go ahead through the Federal Government's Community Infrastructure Program grant.
Other projects include the South Tweed skate park, the upgrade of Kingscliff foreshore and extending the Burringbar Creek bridge cycleway to Mooball.
“This is about the Rudd Government protecting local jobs,” Ms Elliot said.
“Throughout the world we have seen the global economic crisis and the Rudd Government has responded to that through our numerous stimulus packages.
“We are protecting our local economies.”
Ms Elliot said she was pleased the funding for the Tweed Shire had been announced quickly.
“Many locals have said to me how important it is to have the skate park up and running for the local kids, so I'm very happy to be here today to announce the funding,” she said.
“(And) as a former police officer, I know how important it is to have the CCTV cameras operating. I know there have some issues in Murwillumbah.”
Tweed Shire Mayor Joan van Lieshout was also at the funding announcement, which took place at the skate park.
“This is fantastic,” she said.
“The CCTV system is really important for Murwillumbah (because) we have had a lot of cases of broken windows, shopfronts and doors.
“I think the Murwillumbah businesses are suffering at the moment and the police just can't be everywhere.”