Southern Cross University in Coolangatta. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News
Southern Cross University in Coolangatta. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News Nolan Verheij-full

Mayor sings praises of SCU addition

TWEED SHIRE Mayor Gary Bagnall has thrown his support behind the proposed mega-expansion of the Southern Cross University's Coolangatta campus, which is expected to generate jobs and opportunities for the region.

Submissions have just closed for the draft expansion plan which includes a six-storey building, 505-space car park and cafe precinct.

Cr Bagnall said the proposal, which includes a two-floor library, cafe precinct and 500-seat lecture theatre, will create jobs and tertiary education opportunities for residents.

"I've had a meeting with the project manager of Southern Cross University recently and last week [we had] a lengthy discussion about the project.

"I came away feeling quite confident that it would be of benefit to our shire.

"It's going to have a good economic impact on the Tweed Shire, and we find it exciting in terms our own youth being able to study there and construction jobs."

The draft plan states the expansion will facilitate an SCU college for students who do not meet standard entry requirements, and that it will provide a technological basis for combining online and face-to-face education delivery.

The plan is a joint initiative between Southern Cross University and Gold Coast Airport.

Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer David Collins said the development would assist in meeting demand for higher education in the southern Gold Coast and Northern NSW regions.

"The continued development of the Southern Cross University campus on Gold Coast Airport will provide significant economic and positive social impacts for both the Gold Coast and Tweed regions," Mr Collins said.

He said the university expansion will facilitate plans to integrate education, tourism and aviation.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said the university had received federal government funding for the building.

Land could have cultural heritage

DESCENDENTS of the original indigenous people of the Tweed, the Nganduwal people, believe the expansion of the Coolangatta Southern Cross University campus may be on culturally significant land.

Jackie McDonald said the entire Cobaki Lakes region had been utilised by previous generations.

"Limited archaeological excavations for the Tugun Bypass through airport land revealed significant Aboriginal cultural heritage values, as did the excavations for the Cobaki Lakes development," she said.

"These values have the potential to be of national heritage significance to the nation, so it's fair to say those values could extend onto other parts of airport land and so without a thorough Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment prior to any development on airport land, these values could be damaged."

Planning documents state "a preliminary Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment of the site concluded that due to the extremely high levels of ground disturbance, additional archaeological investigations are unwarranted".

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