FUTURE: Tweed businesses are encouraged to plan ahead for 2036.
FUTURE: Tweed businesses are encouraged to plan ahead for 2036. Contributed

Tweed plans ahead for 2036

TWEED Chamber of Commerce members have had their say on the future of the shire, as the NSW Government drafts its North Coast Regional Plan.

The ambitious plan aims to create a strategic vision for the region, as local and state governments come to terms with the projected North Coast population growth of 76,200 by 2036.

Department of Planning officer Joshua Townsend said during the meeting on Tuesday it was important to hear from Tweed businesses about what should be included in the plan.

"The action plan acknowledges that the Tweed CBD, the retail and commercial areas of South Tweed Heads, they are the highest employment hubs within the Tweed Shire," he said.

"The population growth over the last 20 years has really been anchored to the Tweed Coast, when you think of settlements like Salt, Casuarina, Pottsville and most recently Seaside City. That growth will continue through Kings Forest, the green fill areas in Kingscliff and Dunloe Park in Pottsville, combining to provide close to 25,000 in additional population.

"The Tweed Heads area doesn't have the land area to prevail as the population centre of the Tweed Shire but it does offer a lifestyle choice that's not catered for in the other areas and positions itself as the employment, recreational and cultural gateway, drawing residents from connecting areas as an attractive destination."

Chamber members shared their ideas of what they would like to see happen in the shire over the next two decades, with many stating they wanted the Tweed River to be more prominent in planning decisions as well as more areas for cultural activities.

Chamber president and Tweed Shire councillor Warren Polglase said businesses needed to be part of the planning process if future investment in the region was to be achieved.

"If we're going to attract investment opportunities, we need to have the vision of where we want to be and to do that it needs to be driven by the businesses," he said.

"If you go over the border you can see what's happening over there but when you come around the corner (to Tweed) it's dead as a doornail. We need concepts and strategic vision to create investment."

The North Coast Regional Plan is expected to be put on public exhibition in September.

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