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The Communication and Customer Services Unit of Tweed Shire Council is responsible for media releases, responding to journalist, television and photo requests, and general media and industry publication related enquiries. Media organisations are encouraged to use our email subscription service to receive automatic notification of Council media releases via email. You can unsubscribe at any time by logging in to the right, then select the 'Unsubscribe' option.

Requests from media organisations for information or comment regarding Council operational matters should be directed to Council's Communications Unit on (02) 6670 2575 or email

For comments from Councillors, please contact them directly. See Councillors page for their contact details.

For more information also see Media Organisations and the Tweed Link. Please click on the relevant title below to view the full media release.

Last 10 Available Media Releases
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26 August 2016
Council dealing with fibro sheeting containing asbestos in park

Council is working with independent experts to manage the recent discovery of small pieces of fibro sheeting containing asbestos in a park adjacent to Frangela Drive in Murwillumbah.


The site was once a local landfill - closing more than 50 years ago in the early 1960s - and later was covered with fill to create the park. Frangela Drive Reserve is also used as an off-leash dog area.


Small pieces of compressed bonded sheeting (fibro) were found protruding from the ground by a Council staff member on a routine inspection on 9 August 2016.


Then recent heavy rainfall scoured the land further, exposing more pieces of fibro.


Signs warning residents and members of the public about the presence of asbestos were then erected and the affected area was cordoned off.


Council staff then followed established procedures to clean up the material using approved methods.


Council’s Manager Building and Environmental Health, David McNicoll, assured residents and the public that the park did not represent a danger to people or their animals.


“Fibro sheeting before, say the 1970s, did contain asbestos, however it is in a compressed, bonded form which represents a low level of risk to the public unless it is drilled and sawn,” Mr McNicoll said.


“We’ve organised for a certified asbestos removal company to remove all remaining fragments of the fibro tomorrow (Saturday) and then we will have an independent consultant provide a clearance certificate to give the site the all-clear, after which the fencing and signs will be removed.


“In the longer term, we’ll commission an independent organisation to undertake a thorough risk assessment and recommend the best option for the long term management of the site.”


“We’re doing a letterbox drop to residents today and will continue to keep them informed of any longer-term solutions that may need to be implemented following the independent risk assessment.”


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26 August 2016
History reveals difficult and powerful stories

A new Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah exhibition includes breastplates given to Aboriginal people associated with the Northern Rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s.


Two years in the making, the exhibition opens on 23 August to coincide with the New South Wales Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference, a peak body event being held in Tweed Shire for the first time.


“The focus of this exhibition is very much on the individuals to whom these plates were given, and the information that can be found in the historic record about them - where they lived, why they were given the plates, and their interaction with settlers,” Museum Director Judy Kean said.


“We understand that the history of these breastplates is a difficult one. It tells a story of attempts at European domination and subjugation of Aboriginal people. Nonetheless, those named on the breastplates did exist and although the plates themselves can be contentious, the individuals are not, and it’s their stories that are the heart of this exhibition.” 


Featured in the exhibition: Bobby, King of Grafton; Tommy, King of Carrs Creek; Rowley, King of Tomki; Bobby, Chief of Yulgibar; Billy Kelly, King of Broadwater; Jemmy, King of Big River; King Billy Morgan of Dyrabba; Margaret, Queen of Gundurimba; Peter Belmy, King of Yerally, Gindinbar and Gundirimba; Billy Barloo, King of Coldstream; Prince Newman  of Tunstall; Wilson, King of Coraki; Drumble Charlie and Billy Moore.


“People may not be aware that breastplates have a military origin. They’re a remnant of metal body armour, the gorget, worn in medieval times and in continued use well into the 19th century,” Ms Kean said.


“Governor Macquarie introduced them to Australia in 1815 and intended them as a way of conferring status on the people to whom they were given.”


As part of the Museum’s work to assemble the exhibition, a publication has been produce and includes extensive original research. It includes a supplementary list identifying individuals from the region given breastplates or identified as ‘King’ or ‘Queen’ but for whom no breastplate is known to exist.


“We hope this extensive documentation will encourage further research into the lives of these individuals,” she said.


Delegates from the NSW Local Government Aboriginal Network (LGAN) Conference visited the exhibition on Wednesday, with some sharing their own memories triggered by the display.


LGAN Executive Member John Murray said the exhibition was a good way to educate the broader community about the past.


“It was sad for me to see some of the items on display but this is about recognising how far we have come as a culture and as a country. It’s good to see these things are only on display now for educational purposes,” Mr Murray said.


The National Museum, the Australian Museum, the National Library of Australia, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and the Richmond River and Casino Historical Societies have loaned breastplates for inclusion in the exhibition.


A talk about Aboriginal breastplates and the exhibition will be held at the Museum on Wednesday 14 September at 6pm. 


For more information, contact the Museum on (02) 6670 2493 or visit

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26 August 2016
Aborigines urged to stand for local government

A pioneer of Aboriginal representation in local government, Gunnedah councillor Gwen Griffen, has urged other indigenous people to consider standing for their local council, during this week’s Local Government Aboriginal Network conference in Tweed Heads.


The veteran of 21 years in local government and fellow indigenous councillor Les Knox told the two-day conference that Aboriginal voices on council was an important factor to improving social conditions for Aboriginal communities and their involvement in the broader community.


Indigenous involvement in local government had grown significantly during the past two decades – both as elected members and employees - Ms Griffen told the approximately 150 conference delegates from throughout the State, as many NSW local governments prepare for councillor elections in September.


“But we want to encourage more indigenous people to go into local government, to have a voice in their communities and build upon the opportunities that might be available,” she said.


Ms Griffen was encouraged to entered local government in the 1990s, after she was a prominent advocate to address problems in the Gunnedah community.


She said she kept getting re-elected because of her “straight shooting” approach to local government politics.


Mr Knox said Ms Griffen’s long career as a councillor inspired him to contest the Narrabri Shire Council elections eight years ago.


He was already prominent in his community, his achievements including organising an Aboriginal cricket team tour of the UK in 1988 to celebrate the 120th anniversary of a ground-breaking indigenous team who undertook a similar tour in 1868 - the first Australian sporting team to compete overseas.


Mr Knox said local government was one of the most valuable platforms for Aboriginal people to foster change in services, business and infrastructure.


“I tell people it is a chance for them to be one of the few people to be selected to be the boss of their town,” he said.


The NSW Local Government Aboriginal Network President, Councillor Rob Towney, said increasing the number of indigenous councillors had the greatest potential for improvement at a local government level.


While the Network was eager to encourage the creation of effective Aboriginal advisory groups in each local government area, “we want Aboriginal people to run for council and get elected because that will make the biggest difference”.


24 August 2016
Local government election in Tweed will be on Saturday 29 October

Voters in Tweed will go to the polls for the local government election on Saturday 29 October 2016.

A new date had to be chosen after the previous election – scheduled for 10 September – failed following the death of candidate Ken Nicholson last Friday.

Under the Local Government Act (Section 309), “if a candidate dies between noon on nomination day and 6pm on election day, the election fails and a new election in that council area or ward will be held at a later date”.

The planned Constitutional Referendum on councillor numbers in the Tweed will also be held on 29 October.

Other effects of the change of election dates are:

  • Following the rescheduling of the election, there will be a Mayoral election on 15 September 2016 and again at the first meeting of the new Council in early November.

  • The NSW Electoral Commission, who is conducting the election on behalf of Council, is waiting on formal advice from the Crown Solicitor’s Office in relation to the mechanics of the election, including candidate renomination and ballot draw.

  • Council is also waiting advice from the Office of Local Government in relation to the caretaker period that precedes the election.

  • The deadline for Expressions of Interest for community members who would like to serve on a number of Council committees for the next four years has been extended to Friday, 11 November. For more information, see

Many councils across the State will go to the polls on 10 September, while others affected by amalgamations will have their elections delayed until next year.

For more information on local government elections, visit

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24 August 2016
Gallery first to present Cook’s new series, on loan from Hong Kong

Michael Cook is a Brisbane-based photo-media artist of Bidjara heritage. The Tweed Regional Gallery will be the first public gallery to host the full suite of Michael Cook’s latest photographic series entitled Mother, which opens today.


This emotionally engaging series explores a universal theme that is crucial to the wellbeing of all. The love or absence of a mother is paramount to the development and future of each child the world over.


“Mother is a journey through 13 images of a woman in a deserted Australian landscape,” Gallery Director, Susi Muddiman OAM, said. “These are powerful and evocative images that possess an arrested stillness.  Each of them speaks to something dramatic, and has a sense of loss or regret.  The experience or the idea of loss and longing is something we can all connect to in some way,” Ms Muddiman said.


The ‘mother’ is always alone, her baby absent, although evidence of a child remains in the empty pram, abandoned toys on the hopscotch court, the slackness of the skipping rope.


Michael Cook has tackled subjects from the political to the historical since 2009.  In Mother we see his most intensely personal work to date.  While these images speak directly and poetically to Australia’s Stolen Generation, they also speak to a universal experience of disconnection between mother and child.


“I create artwork about Indigenous issues, past and present, about how the past relates to the present and, eventually, moulds the future.  I’m not sure whether I really need to belong anywhere.  Put simply, I’m a person of mixed ancestry – some of which is Indigenous.  I look at the big picture, I am Australian, I tell my stories to Australians of all races and also to those beyond our shores.  I am a part of the human race,” Cook said.


This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 2016 Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference hosted by Tweed Shire Council from 24 to 26 August 2016.


Mother will complemented by an engaging series of programs and events including:


Exhibition launch event

Friday 16 September, 6pm – 8pm. Free: no bookings required.  Join us for the launch of Michael Cook’s exhibition Mother along with Resolution: new Indigenous photomedia, a travelling exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia.


Artist Talk

Sunday 23 October, 2pm. Free: no bookings required.  Join Michael Cook in conversation with Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM as he reflects on Mother – a new body of work that unravels the artist’s personal history and explores broader universal ideas of motherhood, belonging and identity.


Student Enrichment Day

Tuesday 25 October, 9.45am – 2.30pm, $10 per student.  Bookings essential by phoning the Gallery on

(02) 6670 2790, Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm. Artist Michael Cook will share his expertise in digital image-making and post-production techniques with students as part of this one-day intensive focused on contemporary photomedia practice. (Bookings by school representatives only; for year 10 – 12 students only; limited to three students per school).


Also available, to secondary school teachers, is an education resource featuring an essay by Rhoda Roberts. This resource is available for downloading from the Gallery’s website at


The Tweed Regional Gallery acknowledges the generous support of Hong Kong art collectors Alan Conder and Alan Pigott in presenting this exhibition.


Michael Cook’s Mother will be on display at the Gallery from 24 August to Sunday 11 December 2016.

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23 August 2016
Write a love letter to the Tweed

Community members are invited to share what they love and want to celebrate about Kingscliff and Murwillumbah through public art, by writing a love letter to their town.

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23 August 2016
Who attacked the native trees at Pottsville?

Council has resolved to pursue legal action against anyone found to have been responsible for a serious vandalism attack on more than 50 native trees at Pottsville Beach earlier this month.


At last Thursday’s Council meeting, Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, issued an appeal for anyone with information to come forward to help with the investigation of unlawful vegetation removal on Council-managed Crown land fronting Elanora Avenue.


“Council is committed to going all out to try to find the offenders and we’d like to call on the community to assist us with this process – someone must have heard the chainsaws,” Councillor Milne said.


“These trees are not just for amenity, they provide important coastal habitat that acts as a buffer to coastal erosion and provide important habitat for threatened animals including Pied Oystercatchers, Beach stone-curlews and Loggerhead Turtles.


“We need the community to understand the significance and get on board to provide information to help us catch whoever did this.”


On Monday 8 August, Council staff were made aware of several trees which had been cut down and/or deliberately damaged in the coastal reserve fronting Elanora Avenue, Pottsville. As further inspections were made, it became clear that more than 50 trees had been affected along a 300-metre strip.


Council staff left information in letter boxes and doorknocked about 40 houses along Elanora Avenue to determine if anyone had seen any activity. So far, no-one has reported seeing or hearing anything.


“The vegetation vandalism appears to have been undertaken using a chainsaw and has targeted important semi-mature and mature littoral species such as Beach She-oak, Banksia, Tuckerooo, Coastal Aspen and Corkwood,” Council’s Natural Resource Management Coordinator, Jane Lofthouse, said.


“Several damaged trees remain standing but the level of damage will have to be assessed to see whether they are at risk of falling and could pose a public safety risk.”


Ms Lofthouse expressed deep concerns that this type of destruction demonstrates “complete disregard of native coastal vegetation, undermining ongoing efforts by Council-engaged bush regenerators, staff and volunteers to

maintain and enhance the integrity of the coastal landscape”.


“Council appreciates that the vast majority of landowners and residents adjoining the reserve are in no way responsible for this activity and that it is likely to be the work of one or two individuals – although we’re a little puzzled as to why, as no-one’s view would have been greatly improved,” she said.


Council has a policy of zero tolerance for vandalism of vegetation on public land and has the right to seek rehabilitation costs and issue penalties of more than $3,000 for such offences.


A high number of recent incidents in Tweed Shire prompted Council to adopt a Vegetation Vandalism on Public Land Policy. Under this policy, the Pottsville attack has been ranked as ‘high significance’. Large view-blocking screens allowed under the policy will not be erected, as the houses are elevated above the bushland.


Anyone with information is asked to call Council on (02) 6670 2400.                                                    


23 August 2016
Section of Tweed Coast Road closed for five days

Tweed Coast Road, north of Elanora Avenue, Pottsville, will be closed for five days from next Monday (29 August) to allow Council to install new stormwater drainage pipes beneath the road.


The work is part of a major drainage upgrade to provide a pathway for surface water to escape the low-lying area when it rains.


During a flood in 2005, the area effectively became a shallow dam.  Since then, Council has been working to improve the drainage capacity. In 2010, Council upgraded the drainage north of Rajungra Avenue and now it is working to complete the drainage upgrade south of Banksia Avenue.


New drainage pipes already have been installed from Cudgera Creek, through North Pottsville Holiday Park, to Tweed Coast Road.


This coming week, Tweed Coast Road will be closed north of Elanora Avenue to allow workers to install pipes beneath the road.  All traffic will be diverted via Elanora Avenue and Boronia Avenue, before rejoining Tweed Coast Road north of the worksite.


Approximately 6000 vehicles a day use Tweed Coast Road and to prepare for the upcoming diversion Council upgraded Boronia Avenue earlier this year, installing kerb and gutter before resurfacing the road.


During the road closure, the bus stop on Tweed Coast Road adjacent to the southern end of the holiday park will be  relocated to north of Boronia Avenue.  Also, the Telstra public phone near the bus stop will not be operational.  Both these services will be restored when the road is reopened.


Council appeals to motorists to be patient during the five-day closure and observe the speed limit along the detour route as both Elanora and Boronia avenues are small residential streets.


22 August 2016
Sustainable farming insights at Chillingham field day

Council will bring together leading farm educators and graziers for a field day at Chillingham featuring research insights and the latest advice on improving farm productivity.


The free event will be held at Chillingham Hall on Thursday August 25 and is the culmination of an 18-month sustainable grazing project involving 15 graziers who manage more than 1000ha of Tweed farmland.

22 August 2016
Tweed Shire Council hosts Aboriginal Network Conference

The Tweed will host the influential NSW Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (24, 25 and 26 August) at Twin Towns Clubs and Resorts at Tweed Heads.

The NSW Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference acts as a forum for discussion on local government issues relating to Aboriginal communities, business and the wider community.

The theme for this year’s Conference is “Our Living Culture – Past, Present and Future”.

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Last Updated: 14 July 2016