Tweed Shire Council, located in the Northern Rivers, has announced construction works on its first flood-free industrial land swap project will begin in August, with four spots still available.

The innovative plan will see eligible business landowners swap their flood-prone land with Council-owned, flood-free land at Industry Central, located in Lundberg Drive, South Murwillumbah. 

The land swap was initiated by Tweed Shire Council in the aftermath of the March 2017 flood, which decimated much of the industrial area of South Murwillumbah.

The plan has been supported by a $6.6 million grant from the New South Wales Government to acquire the 14ha of suitable flood-free land and develop the new industrial estate.

Five local businesses, along with the Tweed Shire Council Depot, have confirmed they will be moving to the new site, with four allotments remaining unallocated. Council will soon be undertaking expressions of interest to allocate these remaining allotments to eligible businesses.

The new allotments are due to be completed in early 2023 and, once settlement has taken place, businesses can commence building  new premises on the site.

Tweed Shire Council Mayor, Chris Cherry, said she was excited to see construction planned for August.

“Land swaps are complex legal and planning initiatives which are rarely undertaken, with this project already five years in the making,” Mayor Cherry said.

“It is crucial we undertake this land swap. We must get businesses off the floodplain and up to higher ground if we are to ensure confidence in the local economy. Our region is growing and we are keen to support our business sector wherever we can.

“This could pave the way for future land swaps in the Tweed and across the Northern Rivers.”

Alder Constructions was awarded the $3.18 million contract for the design and construction of all public infrastructure at Industry Central in Lundberg Drive, including the roads, stormwater, reticulated sewer, water supply and telecommunications.

Alder Constructions General Manager, Dean Cheffers, said Alder was thrilled to be part of this award-winning initiative.

“We’ve been warmly embraced by our southern neighbours since expanding further afield and to be part of this landmark project that will protect businesses and jobs in the area is truly exciting,” Mr Cheffers said.

“We will be designing, constructing, coordinating and overseeing the entire project including all surveyance, civil works, earthworks, construction of applicable public infrastructure, allotment preparation and subdivision certification.”

Williams Group Australia General Manager, Lyndon Poirrier, said the long-time Murwillumbah company was looking forward to moving to the new site.

“This project is an opportunity to future-proof a number of our businesses to ensure we continue our great contribution to the local economy, which we have done since our establishment in 1935,” Mr Poirrier said.

“This will allow us to pursue the potential for a new state-of-the-art production facility on a flood-free, worry-free site, enabling us to explore new options such as world robotics, integrated operating platforms and logistics.

“It will also allow us to provide our people with a safer working environment into the future, aligning with our desire to live up to our motto to always be ‘one step ahead’.”

 Some of the businesses that have signed up for the land swap include 30 Marine Parade Pty Ltd, Mick Bourke Transport, North Commercial Pty Ltd and All Home Products & Improvements.

Following the record flood in February and March of 2022, Council has launched a new Expression of Interest process to gauge interest in a second land swap project. This would require suitable land to be identified and for the New South Wales Government to provide financial support.

To register your interest in participating in the land swap, contact Senior Economic Development Officer Kym Kranen on 02 6670 2422 or email kkranen@tweed.nsw.gov.au.

A shot from above of the new industrial land swap area at South Murwillumbah.

 

Featured image: Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry turning the first sod with Alder Constructions GM Dean Cheffers (right) and Williams Group Australia GM Lyndon Poirrier (left) at the new flood-free industrial land swap area in South Murwillumbah. Image: Tweed Shire Council

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