CCTV camera contract stays local

THE owner of a local company which beat a number of outside firms for the $170,000 contract installing security cameras in Murwillumbah is happy he won't have to travel away from the Tweed to complete a job.

Chris Wadsworth's Kingscliff-based company Chris Tech has won the contract which uses $70,000 in Federal Government funding - promised over a year ago - plus a further $100,000 delivered as part of the government's economic stimulus measures.

The closed-circuit television cameras, first mooted for the Murwillumbah CBD several years, will now cover a greater area, including large parts of Knox Park, the new $18 million swimming pool and tri-level car park complex.

“We certainly are pleased,” said Mr Wadsworth.

“It's good it is not so far for us to travel, instead of going down to Grafton jail or Lismore and all the court houses ... that sort of thing.

“We've been in the industry for 17 to 18 years now doing banking systems and all that sort of stuff.”

Mr Wadsworth said he expected to start work installing the system, which is hoped to deter late night vandalism and street fighting, next month.

“It's very state-of-the-art equipment,” he said.

“Instead of using standard analogue cameras, this will be the next generation of cameras - megapixel cameras similar to the ones you have for photography.

“It's high definition and allows better identification and covers a very large wide-angle area, recording a lot of the street.”

Mr Wadsworth spent part of yesterday inspecting installation sites with Tweed Shire Council officers and members of the council committee responsible for letting the tender, including Cr Phil Youngblutt.

Mr Youngblutt is also president of the Murwillumbah Business Chamber which initiated plans for the cameras.

Mr Wadsworth said it might, however, take several weeks to order the cameras once he had the formal council order.

“It's not just off-the-shelf stuff,” he said.

Mr Youngblutt said the CCTV system had to be installed before September in accordance with conditions attached to a latest grant of $100,000 to the council as part of the Federal Government's economic stimulus measures.

He said it would be far superior to the previously planned system which the chamber found it could not afford after the first tenderer pulled out last year.

“The new system will cost close to $170,000 and cover the main part of the town, into the park, the new car park and the pool,” he said.

“A 32-inch LCD monitor will go into the police station.”

Mr Youngblutt said the fact that the successful tenderer was a firm from Kingscliff provided the extra bonus that the money would be “spent locally”.

A business chamber breakfast meeting on Tuesday was told the system would help police identify people involved incidents such as window-smashing which occurred early last Saturday.

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