Tweed is not for sale
TWEED Shire councillor Barry Longland has slammed a proposal for Queensland to annex northern NSW, telling Sunshine State leaders “we’re not for sale”.
Dismissed as ‘pie in the sky’ by Tweed MP Geoff Provest yesterday, the idea of a new mega-state originated from comments over a referendum proposed by north Queensland MPs to break off from the rest of their state.
In response, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there were parts of northern NSW with more affinity to her state than NSW, including coastal villages from Tweed to Byron Bay.
“We should be inviting them to join us, not dividing our great state,” Ms Palaszczuk told the Sunday Mail.
As an addition to the theoretical mega state from Rockhampton to Evans Head in NSW, Cr Longland said he could see why parts of the AAA-financially rated NSW would make a lucrative asset.
“The Tweed is beautiful; we’ve got amazing natural features in the valleys, and gorgeous coastlines not over-burdened with high rises, and we’re going to have a rail trail soon,” Cr Longland said.
“I can see why any government would want to take that on, but we’re not for sale.”
Cr Longland said it was undeniable the Tweed economy was linked to Queensland and there were significant cross-border issues such as daylight saving, but his belief was that residents were against joining Queensland.
“It’s not something that has crossed the Tweed Shire Council chamber in the last eight years, no one has suggested this is a way forward,” he said.
Cr Longland’s comments are in stark contrast to fellow Tweed councillor Gary Bagnall who, incorrectly quoted as the mayor instead of his current role as deputy mayor, told News Limited Tweed may as well go maroon because “a lot of people in northern NSW were very unhappy with the NSW Government”.
“In terms of distance, I would much rather be connected with Brisbane than Sydney,” Cr Bagnall told News Ltd.
But Cr Bagnall clarified to the Tweed Daily News he had been “misquoted” and made no further comment.
The real mayor, Katie Milne, has been contacted for comment.