Fight for exit to save business
NATIONAL Party leader Andrew Stoner has joined South Tweed Heads business owners in their fight to change the Sexton Hill upgrade.
The business owners, as well as Tweed MP Geoff Provest, are pushing for a temporary Kirkwood Road highway interchange to be constructed before work starts on Sexton Hill.
Construction started this month on the two-year, $300 million Pacific Highway upgrade.
The Good Guys South Tweed owner Rory Curtis said he and other business owners feared the resulting congestion would cause their customers to turn away.
“During the two years of construction, access into South Tweed is going to be a nightmare,” Mr Curtis said.
“We have proposed a temporary access off Kirkwood Road to get people in and out of the CBD, but they are not listening.
“It makes sense because there are hundreds of businesses and thousands of people and workers that use this area.”
The interchange is scheduled to be built as part of the upgrade in 2012 or 2013.
Mr Curtis said the Kirkwood Road exit would also increase safety during construction.
“It’s a simple solution.
“Tweed Shire Council really needs to come to the forefront.”
After speaking with a group of business owners yesterday, Mr Stoner, Opposition roads spokesperson, said he and Mr Provest would take the matter up in Parliament.
“Certainly what the RTA proposes here will have some substantial impact on the retail area of South Tweed,” Mr Stoner said.
“The issue is that the New South Wales Labor Government and the RTA listen to the locals.”
Mr Stoner said he feared the limited access to South Tweed would result in people using other areas, such as over the border.
Mr Provest said his major concern was the impact the construction period would have on South Tweed businesses.
“You’re cutting down nearly 70 per cent of local access,” he said.
“We’ve been fighting the Sexton Hill battle for a number of years and we’re at the end of the stick.
“This is the heart of the Tweed’s economic zone.”
The Banora Point upgrade will provide a 2.5 kilometre dual carriageway upgrade of the Pacific Highway at Banora Point, from Barneys Point Bridge to the Tweed Heads bypass.