Tweed risks going broke

TWEED Shire will go "broke" unless it gets employment growth happening, according to a major local developer who voiced his warning last week at a major sustainable development conference on the Gold Coast.

Peter Mitchell who is developing the Industry Central business park east of Murwillumbah says the shire desperately needs "new residents and developments."

He has also warned Tweed Shire Council and developers must "work together as a team".

However Mr Mitchell told the Turning Point 2010 development industry conference at Surfers Paradise which was attended by leading developers and town planning consultants that he hopes his industrial estate is "the forerunner to making Tweed a huge industrial service and employment provider".

He said he currently has and hopes to continue to have a good working relationship with the council but warned changes are needed.

"They have supported me because I will create employment for their region," he said.

"If the shire fails to get employment growth within a couple of decades I think it will be broke.

"It needs new residents, it needs development.

"We must work together as a team.

"We should try to embrace councils to work as a team rather than us against them.

"On both sides of the fence mistakes have been made, but it is time, especially in these harsh economic times that councils and the development industry work closer together, not just on charges to the development but swift movement of applications.

"If we have swifter approvals then some of the charges can be absorbed as we are not laying idle paying interest on our holdings whilst we wait for approvals."

Mr Mitchell called on developers to "pursue councils to work far closer together than is now occurring".

"Bashing councils will not work," he warned.

"Going stride in stride with them will work, as long as they want to also walk with us."

Mr Mitchell said everyone also had to realise the "the Tweed is part of the greater Gold Coast."

"This is not frontier land," he said adding that "better developers" than himself had seen the potential including billionaire property king Bob Ell whose Leda Group plans to develop about 10,000 homes in new townships at Kings Forest south of Kingscliff and Cobaki Lakes west of the Gold Coast Airport.

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