Line of discontent: NSW entry a disgrace
THE border between NSW and Queensland along the old Gold Coast Highway is clear to see - the northern side is cultivated and maintained while the Tweed's end is an overgrown, grafitti-strewn disgrace.
Tweed businesses have had enough and are calling on Premier Mike Baird to do something about the dilapidated entry to NSW from the Gold Coast Airport, before thousands flock to the area for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Tweed Chamber of Commerce and Industry acting president and Tweed Councillor Warren Polglase said despite calls from business leaders and council over several years, the NSW Government had not done a thing to improve the entry way.
"The Premier (Mike Baird) said he planned to visit regional NSW more in 2017, well here is his opportunity,” Cr Polglase said. "(Mr Baird) needs to stand by his statement and do something about the entry to NSW.
"The first impression of the Tweed looks daggy. Visitors will just drive on, they won't want to come near it because it looks so bad, that's just human nature.”
Cr Polglase said the issue was of major concern for Tweed businesses and also called on Tweed Shire Council to do more to help.
Cr Polgase said it would be easy to plant a row of trees down the middle strip of the road and along each side to improve the outlook.
"It's quite simple, if council can spend $60,000 on an entry statue for Murwillumbah and $20 million on the beach at Kingscliff ... they can do something about the entry to Tweed,” he said.
Tweed Mayor Katie Milne agreed, saying she had long called for the entry way to be beautified.
"I put a motion to council about this a few years ago for the State Government, highlighting its importance for Tweed as one of Australia's eight national iconic landscapes, but nothing has been done,” Cr Milne said.
"I also asked that they landscape their depot on Kennedy Dv directly at the end of the off ramp to Tweed to soften their huge sheds but saw no action on that either. Some places get great highway landscaping but Tweed has been quite neglected.”
Their comments follow a resolution by the Gold Coast City Council late last year to write to the NSW Government to call on it to do something about the southern entrance as part of its plan to spend $4 million on entry ways to its city before the Commonwealth Games.
"Council will write to the NSW Premier once we have determined where, and when, the southern entry statement will be positioned,” a GCCC spokesperson said.
"That work is under way now. Once that is decided, we can write to the Premier seeking his support to improve the visual amenity leading towards that entry statement.”
At the meeting, Robina-based councillor Hermann Vorster likened conditions on the NSW approach to the airport to a third world country.
"All the industrial buildings on the right are filled with graffiti, the vegetation isn't managed and the road surface is awful,” Cr Vorster told News Ltd.
Cr Vorster said pressure should be put on NSW authorities to upgrade the road as the region would also benefit from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"Otherwise, we will end up with a good piece of art work, a great entry statement but it feels like you are in a third world country.”