Tweed Shire Council is seeking $20 million in federal funding for a bold new plan to upgrade the erosion-battered Kingscliff foreshore including the building of a seawall to protect public facilities.
Councillors last week nominated the master plan to upgrade Kingscliff’s foreshore as the shire’s top priority project for funding under a new regional grants program announced by the Australian government earlier this month.
As well as the seawall, the three-stage, $20.4 million upgrade will include beach replenishment, an upgrade of the publicly-owned Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park and reduction of its size to create a ‘central park’ , as well as refurbishment of the town’s beachfront amenities hall.
Council’s engineering director David Oxenham said if council’s bid for the funding under the National Stronger Regions Fund was successful, the master plan would be an economic and jobs boost for the shire during construction, which could take up to 18 months to complete.
‘The project will protect Kingscliff’s main commercial precinct and preserve the beach and foreshore, which are a major tourism attraction and economic driver for the area,’ Mr Oxenham said.
‘A coastal hazard study has shown Kingscliff has major public assets within an immediate hazard zone and there is strong community desire to protect and enhance the facilities along the foreshore,’ he said.
‘This would be complemented by the Kingscliff Central Park and Lions Park, which would provide social hub which connected the village’s central business district with the beach.’
During a site visit of the foreshore yesterday of local civic leaders and officials, Kingscliff business chamber president Jayne Henry said the application and master plan were a ‘supreme priority’ for the business group.
‘We are a prime tourism destination of the Tweed and we need to protect our main asset, which is our beach. There could not be a bigger issue for us than this development,’ Ms Henry said.
The federal government has announced the opening of applications for the first round of grants through the fund, which will provide a total of $1 billion over the next five years, starting in 2015-16.
It will be on a dollar-for-dollar basis for the construction of new, or the upgrade of existing, infrastructure, aimed at providing sustainable economic benefits.
Successful projects will be announced in May next year.
Kingscliff Beach Bowls Club general manager Phill Kelley said club would work with council to ‘help ensure the development went ahead’.
‘More turnover at the holiday park and greater activity at the foreshore means increased business for everyone, including more business for us with meals and entertainment,’ Mr Kelley said.
Council’s holiday parks and economic development manager Richard Adams said ‘the creation of Kingscliff Central Park in the heart of Kingscliff will be a fantastic amenity for everyone in the Tweed’.