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May 31, 2023

New lease of life for prominent Kingscliff building

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The coast-guard unit building could be put to many new uses. Tweed Shire Council wants community input.

Tweed residents are being asked to provide ideas for future uses of the former coast guard building in the heart of Kingscliff which has been vacated.

Tweed Shire Council is investigating options for uses of the training building in Ed Parker Rotary Park, after Kingscliff Coast Guard unit ceased operations last November.

‘We want to know what residents think would be the best use for this building, which is prominently positioned near the centre of town and on the banks of Cudgen Creek,’ council’s team leader, environmental health, Doreen Harwood, said.

‘The Kingscliff Coast Guard Unit provided a wonderful service for the boating community for many years since and now council wants to make the best possible use of the building,’ Ms Harwood said.

‘This initial round of engagement is just looking to brainstorm with the community to identify optimum ways to utilise the building. There will be a separate, later round of consultation to invite formal expressions of interest.’

Ms Harwood said that use must satisfy a number of criteria, including generating income to cover the cost of future site maintenance.

‘The income must at least match the cost of maintenance. However, the opportunities for this site offer plenty of potential to generate income which could help to meet the costs of providing for other community facilities,’ she said.

‘The use will also need to be permissible within the land zoning and in consideration of the amenity of the area due to the close proximity of neighbouring residents.’

The coast guard service was originally established in 1982 as Kingscliff Radio Watch, founded by the late George Bonnett, a keen fisherman with a radio background.

It became a unit of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guards in 1985, covering an area from Tweed Heads to Pottsville.

The Kingscliff unit was initially based in the nearby tower building in Faulks Park, until its members build the training building in 2007.

However, the group disbanded last year, voting against joining Marine Rescue NSW, which was formed as a single integrated service comprising other Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Units in NSW, the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and the Volunteer Rescue Association’s maritime fleet.

Community members with ideas about how the building could be used can provide their feedback online by visiting yoursaytweed.com.au/coastguard.

A community workshop will be held on Tuesday 14 July from 5.30pm-7.30pm for the public to further explore options for the building, and will be conducted at the training building.

Participants are asked to RSVP to council’s technical officer, emergency management, Shannon Heathcote, on 02 6670 2567.

In addition, an information stall will be held at the Kingscliff Lions Beachside Markets on Saturday 11 July at from 7am-11am.

Further information is available by visiting yoursaytweed.nsw.gov.au/coastguard or by phoning Ms Harwood or Ms Heathcote on 02 6670 2400.

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