In March / April 2017, ex tropical Cyclone Debbie caused significant flooding throughout the Tweed Shire with many homes and businesses being severely damaged despite the existence of flood levees in some areas.
The damage was particularly devastating to the industrial area of South Murwillumbah, a location of many medium sized enterprises, employing hundreds of staff and contributing significantly to the local economy and social fabric of our town.
The cost of the damage in this area alone ran into the tens of millions of dollars and became a major threat to jobs.
The aim of the Industry Central Land Swap project is to build resilience into the Tweed economy to overcome future flood events and in turn help the town better face the ongoing challenges that climate change will present.
The Land Swap agreement allows for a ‘like for like’ swap for land that has no improvements or infrastructure.
For land on which existing improvements or infrastructure is built, the offer is like for like plus an uplift of 20% additional land. Consideration is given to those businesses who would like to purchase land over and above the approved allocation.
As new allotments are created, the land swap between Council and the participating businesses can occur and land titles may be transferred. The infrastructure or improvements on the vacated properties in most cases will then be removed and those allotments rezoned to allow for public open space or other community purposes. The intent is to create a clear floodway for future major flood events.
History has shown that continuing to build/upgrade flood levy walls is not a true safeguard from flooding.
Innovative projects such as the Industry Central Land Swap provide long term protection for relocating high value enterprises, allowing them confidence to reinvest and grow their businesses, providing more local jobs and thus benefiting the broader economy and social fabric of our community.
The first round of Expression Of Interest (EOI) ran from 26 November 2018 to 25 January 2019.
Tweed Shire Council has settled on 14.02 hectares of land as part of an unprecedented move to mitigate against climate change and create resilience for local businesses and the broader economy.The $3 million land purchase was funded by the NSW State Government.
This initiative will enable eligible land owners that were directly impacted by the 2017 flood in northern NSW to enter an expression of interest process and, if successful, swap their flood prone land with Council-owned flood free land at Industry Central, Murwillumbah.
Council has also made application for funding from the NSW Government's growing local economies fund to provide essential public infrastructure and to undertake subdivision of the land.
Many businesses in the South Murwillumbah industrial zone suffered significant loss as a consequence of the 2022 flood and therefore Council is now undertaking a second round of Expressions Of Interest (EOI) to identify suitable businesses who can be allocated the remaining four un-allocated industrial lots.
The EOI will run for a 28 day period and eligible interested land owners will be invited to lodge an application for participation in the Land Swap.