Tweed to be declared a regional city
TWEED Shire will be declared a regional city, underpinning planning policy for the NSW North Coast for the next 20 years.
NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes is visiting the Tweed today, where he will make a series of announcements, including the release of the Draft North Coast Regional Plan.
The plan will dictate much of how the State Government directs its funding to the region, with the health and tourism sectors expected to benefit most.
"This draft plan sets out a vision for the North Coast over the next two decades to help vibrant and sustainable communities flourish now and into the future," Mr Stokes said.
Under the draft plan, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie will also be recognised as regional cities, although most of the projected growth for the region is expected to take place in the Tweed.
"Tweed is the biggest and the fastest growing of the three," Mr Stokes said.
"The North Coast is growing from 543,000 to 640,000 people over the next 20 years and Tweed is the fastest growing."
Mr Stokes said the region was expected to grow by 97,000 people over the next 20 years, requiring an additional 72,000 new homes.
Ninety per cent of the population growth was expected to take place in the over 65 age group, with significant employment growth in the health sector expected accordingly.
The tourism industry was also expected to be a big driver of jobs in the region he said.
The announcement was welcomed by both Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Lismore MP Thomas George, who accompanied the minister on his visit.
Mr Stokes is also due to announce new funding to protect the Tweed River and new environment zones for the region.
Community feedback on the draft plan is being called for, with submissions open until June 2.
View the plan at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/northcoast.