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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
21 June 2018
Road and bridge flood damages nearing completion
Road and bridge flood damages nearing completion

At the end of this month, Council will have repaired 1445 flood damages on our roads and bridges following the March 2017 flood.


“To have completed 94.5 per cent of road and bridge flood repairs so far ahead of the close of submissions for funding under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) is an outstanding achievement,” Manager Infrastructure Delivery Tim Mackney said.


On 1 April last year, Council had a total of 1529 damage items on its books, equating to $29.8 million in additional work over and above its usual annual works program. And, more than 50 of these items were major damages, requiring geotechnical and design expertise to repair.  As investigations continued and further information became available, this estimate was adjusted down to $27.7 million.


Of the 84 jobs yet to be completed, 19 are for guardrail damage and will be done before the end of next month. These jobs could not be scheduled earlier because pavements and embankments needed to be repaired first.


Then, 64 jobs will carry through to August. They have all been let under seven major flood restoration contracts.  These repairs include large bottomside slips and structural repairs to bridges and culverts that needed engineering investigation before repairs could start. These contracts also include some non-flood related works in the same areas that have been included for efficiency gains and will be funded by Council.


All work in the first group of minor works contracts, which comprised the larger number of repairs, is due to be completed by the end of August.  Work on the seven remaining major works contracts will continue but is on track for completion before the end of the year – a full six months ahead of funding requirements.


The final damage item is the replacement of Byrrill Creek Bridge. The old bridge was washed away in the flood and replaced within weeks by a temporary one-lane timber bridge salvaged from the debris. But, instead of repairing the bridge under NDRRA funding, Council successfully applied for grant funding under the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program and secured $2.17 million; half of what is needed for a new two-lane concrete bridge. The new bridge is currently being designed and is on schedule to be built by June 2019.




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20 June 2018
Park training businesses to shape up with licence
Park training businesses to shape up with licence

Personal trainers operating from Tweed parks and beaches are asked to get their business models in shape from 1 July 2018 by applying for a licence to operate from public land.


Under NSW Government legislation, anyone who operates a commercial venture from public land needs to be licensed to do so. In December 2017, Council adopted a Commercial Recreation Activities on Public Open Space Policy to fully comply with the law.


“Council encourages the use of public land for these healthy activities but requires commercially based personal trainers, bootcamps and team building groups with six or more participants to be licensed from 1 July,” Open Space Officer Grahame Burton said.


“Fees are being kept as low as possible to minimise the financial impact on these small businesses while still complying with the law.”


Businesses that use public land 10 or more hours a week will pay more than those who use it less often. Plus, the licence fee has been waived for groups of five or fewer people. Only commercial operations are affected, Not-for-profit organisations, sporting clubs and the like are not required to hold a licence.


The licence fees for 2018-2019 are:

Annual fee:

  • High frequency (over 3 days per week or 10 hours per week) $520

  • Low frequency (3 or less days per week or under 10 hours per week) $260

Short-term fee (weekly):

  • For activities occurring for one week or less $64 a week.

“Licensing commercial operators also will enable us to educate groups on some of the courtesies we expect so that their activities do not infringe on the enjoyment of others using our parks, beaches and road reserves.”


Personal training and group activities are prohibited within:

  • 50 metres of residential housing or tourist and visitor accommodation unless exceptional circumstances apply

  • 10 metres of playgrounds or park equipment, such as shelter sheds

  • 100 metres of flagged areas on a beach, and

  • in ecologically sensitive locations, such as natural coastal areas and sand dunes.

For more information and to apply for a licence, visit





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20 June 2018
Trio of workers win top honours
Trio of workers win top honours

Three young Council workers have received top honours in the 2018 NSW Training Awards - North Coast Region.


Jake Farrell was named 2018 Apprentice of the Year, while Keely Currie was named 2018 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and Jacob Godfrey was named a finalist and runner-up for 2018 Trainee of the Year.


Jake still works at Council in the metal fabrication workshop, while both Keely (formerly in the Human Resources Unit) and Jacob (formerly in Fleet Operations) have moved on to pursue other career opportunities.


All three were nominated for the awards by Rachael Quinlan, of Programmed Training Services, which placed the youngsters with Council to undertake the first stage of their lifelong careers by doing a traineeship or apprenticeship in their respective industries.


Jake and Keely will now progress to the State awards in September and, if successful there, the National awards in November.


“We are very proud of our young workers and value our partnership with Programmed who consistently do a fabulous job in helping young apprentices and trainees at the beginning of their careers,” said General Manager Troy Green.


“Keely and Jacob have both now left Council to pursue new career opportunities but we are pleased to still have Jake doing fantastic work as a fabricator welder in the metal fabrication team at our workshop.”


Programmed Australian Field Officer Rachael Quinlan thanked Council for providing a ‘fantastic learning platform’ for the young workers.


“The NSW training awards are a celebration of individual achievements for those that have excelled while completing their traineeship or apprenticeship,” Ms Quinlan said.


“It was my honour to attend and support Keely, Jake and Jacob at the awards in Coffs Harbour. All three were among high achievers in their categories so to be awarded two out of three awards was absolutely amazing.


“It takes a village of people to support, mentor, encourage and provide a positive environment for them to thrive in so a big ‘congratulations’ must go to everyone at Tweed Shire Council who played a part in their successful journey.”






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20 June 2018
Rail Trail team learns from Brisbane Valley experience
Rail Trail team learns from Brisbane Valley experience

Council staff working on the design of the first stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail literally got on their bikes last weekend to gain first-hand experience of a successful rail trail operation.


The team, led by Rail Trail Project Manager Iain Lonsdale, rode 40 kilometres along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail with the President of the trail’s Users Association Paul Heymans to learn lessons from their experience with the ongoing construction of this 162-kilometre trail and its operation.


“We spent several hours riding the trail with Paul and discussing all aspects of how they established the trail and how it has grown over the past decade,” Mr Lonsdale said.


The research ride allowed the team of design engineers and environmental scientists the opportunity to inspect the different kinds of surfaces used along the Brisbane Valley trail, which will help Tweed decide the best design option for Stage 1 of the Northern Rivers trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek.


“We also saw how Brisbane Valley used the existing rail infrastructure, incorporating bridges, tunnels, railway track, signage and station buildings into their design.”


On the day of the ride, the Brisbane Valley trail was hosting a 160-kilometre endurance run with refresher stations and supporters at various points along the trail.


“Seeing the patronage of the rail trail and how well it worked for a major regional sporting event was very encouraging.


“Without exception, everyone we spoke to on the trail was enthusiastic and welcomed the prospect of a new rail trail in the Tweed.”


The Tweed team was particularly interested to learn of the business opportunities provided by the trail, reporting that the demand for accommodation generated by trail users had prompted a $1 million expansion and upgrade of the Esk Caravan Park.


“Our visit to Brisbane Valley certainly fuelled the passion of the Tweed team to deliver a first-class rail trail product for northern New South Wales to build a new regional tourist attraction to drive economic growth and jobs.”


For more information about Stage 1 of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail and to have your say about the proposed trail, visit






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19 June 2018
TRAC supervisor wins prestigious Service Medal
TRAC supervisor wins prestigious Service Medal

Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre (TRAC) Supervisor Jeff Collier has been awarded the prestigious Service Medal from the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth Council in recognition of the valuable services he has rendered to society.


Jeff, who manages the aquatic programs at TRAC, also was awarded life membership of the Royal Life Saving Australia NSW branch in recognition of his 20 or more years’ service to the Royal Life Saving Society.


In presenting the awards, Royal Life Saving Regional Manager Jason Phillips said he had only ever seen two or three Service Medals presented in his 24 years with the organisation.


“The Service Medal is based on length of affiliation and lifesaving activity, in terms of education and training,” Mr Phillips said.


“Much of the work Jeff does is purely voluntary, which he does because he has a love for people in the community,” Mr Phillips said.


“We went to Bangladesh as volunteers together a number of years ago to set up a Swim Safe program, as well as a strategy to train the trainers.


“He’s also often conducting CPR refresher courses, training lifeguards and designing innovative swim programs to ensure the people of the Tweed are safe in the water.”


The Royal Life Saving Society aims to lead efforts to reduce drowning and increase swimming, water safety and lifesaving skills. This is achieved through community education programs and managing training and qualifications for the aquatic industry.


Jeff, who teaches CPR on an almost daily basis, said it was very satisfying to know that you were passing on a skill that could save a life.


“It’s nice to be recognised for the years of service because you go on for years and years doing something for the community and just take it as part of your job,” said Jeff.


“The Swim Safe program we set up to train the trainers in Bangladesh in 2005 is still going. It’s very satisfying to know that you have made a difference.”




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19 June 2018
Free workshop to better understand and help our koalas
Free workshop to better understand and help our koalas

Tweed Shire Council and Friends of the Koala have teamed up to present a free workshop to help the community better understand and manage koala habitat.


The workshop will be held on Saturday 23 June at the Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre from 9.30am-2pm. Topics to be covered in the workshop include:

  • how to identify koala habitat

  • how koalas use their habitat, and

  • what individuals and community groups can do to help protect, manage and create koala habitat now and for the future. 

“This is an exciting workshop for residents of Tweed Shire to find out more about why habitat is important for our beautiful and iconic koala,” Koala Watch Project Coordinator Maria Matthes said.


“While it may look like there are a lot of gum trees out there and the koalas should have plenty of habitat, this is not always the case. In the Tweed, koalas have a preference for only four species of gum and browse on several more, so what looks like a lot is really not that much.”


Ms Matthes also explained that the breeding season from July to November posed greater risks to koalas on the move looking for a mate. 


“From July to November koalas are on the ground more moving around looking for breeding partners yet avoiding unwanted mates. Also young males are being pushed from their mother to find their own habitat. At this time of year we lose many healthy koalas prematurely to vehicles and dogs. Plus, during and following the breeding season there is a spike in diseases, which, if treated early, increases the koala’s chance of survival.”


Council’s Threatened Species Project Officer Tanya Fountain encourages residents who live in koala areas to attend this free workshop to become more koala aware.


“We would really like to see people living in local communities where there are koalas to get to know their local koalas and to understand how they use habitat in the landscape,” Ms Fountain said.


Ms Fountain also encouraged all residents to report koala sightings so Council could build a more accurate picture of the local koala population.


“This information can be used to identify koalas in need of care, as well as hotspots on local roads where koalas may be more likely to get hit by a car, or where koalas are at risk of being attacked by roaming dogs.”


The workshop is part of the Friends of the Koalas’ Koala Watch: community-led koala recovery project and Tweed Shire Council’s Investing in Pottsville’s Koalas project. Both projects are part funded by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.


To register to attend the workshop or to find out more, contact Maria Matthes by telephoning 0467 855 990 or emailing or Tanya Fountain by telephoning (02) 6670 2587.


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18 June 2018
Environment grant to help grow sustainable farms
Environment grant to help grow sustainable farms

Council has welcomed a grant of $59,000 to help educate Tweed farmers on better farm management practices to improve the long-term viability of the sector.

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16 June 2018
Research trip to uncover stories of synergy in art and life

Margaret Olley Art Centre’s Curator has been awarded a prestigiuous travel grant to France to research a friend and colleague of Margaret Olley, expatriate Australian painter, Fred Jessup.

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15 June 2018
Funds for groups working towards a better community
Playgroups, classes for the homeless, support for young people and marine debris clean-up are among the worthy community initiatives to receive a share of more than $40,000 in funding through Council’s Community Sponsorship Policy for 2018.
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15 June 2018
Kingscliff’s Lions Park set for a makeover before Christmas

Kingscliff’s Lions Park is set for a makeover, to improve the functionality of the park while also improving accessibility and recreation facilities for residents and visitors.

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Last Updated: 14 July 2016