Tweed Mayor Kevin Skinner.
Tweed Mayor Kevin Skinner.

Put campus on market: Mayor

THE future of the multi-storey Southern Cross University buildings on the council-owned site of the Tweed Heads Civic Centre is unclear, with the council possibly unwilling to take them over.

The university announced last week that it plans to shut down its Tweed campuses at the civic centre and in Caloola Drive by 2013 when the beachside campus next to Gold Coast Airport becomes the hub of its Tweed/Gold Coast operation.

Tweed Mayor Kevin Skinner, who before he became mayor pushed the idea of Tweed Shire Council moving out of its cramped Murwillumbah headquarters to Tweed Heads, appears to have lost interest in the idea.

He said once the univer- sity vacates the buildings it should “put them on the market”.

Yesterday he suggested The Tweed Hospital, which is nearby, might be interested in the buildings for expansion.

“The buildings are limited in scope because of the style and where they are,” Cr Skinner said.

“They might not be of any use to any other businesses. They are basically just suitable for offices.”

Cr Skinner said the university should seek to discover the value of the buildings “in the market place”.

The university's Tweed-Gold Coast campus administrator Mary-Anne Clark revealed last week the organisation plans to shut down its two Tweed campuses and move all classes to Bilinga within two years.

By the beginning of 2013, she said, all the Tweed and Gold Coast operations would be centred at Bilinga.

For that reason most of the orientation programs this year are being held there instead of at the Civic Centre campus.

Ms Clark revealed that planned developments at the airport campus include the construction of a new 10-storey health and human sciences and education building.

Tweed councillors began to go cold on the idea of moving council staff into the university buildings early last year when then-mayor Warren Polglase declined to comment on the prospect of the council sketting up headquarters in the university buildings.

The buildings are on council land and were opened just nine years ago.

Under the mayoralty of Max Boyd during the late 1990s, the council convinced the university to move to the Tweed.

It later forged an agreement where land at the civic centre site was leased for what is believed to have been a “peppercorn” rental.

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