If there’s one thing we learned from the 2017 floods in the Northern Rivers, is that there are some things that are just in the wrong place.
Looking to the future, the chance of flooding is as high as it ever was and seven local businesses have been endorsed for Tweed Shire Council’s Industry Central Land Swap Project and may permanently relocate their operations out of the flood-prone area.
Ex-tropical cyclone Debbie caused major flooding throughout the Tweed with many businesses severely affected. Since then Tweed Shire Council has developed a strategy and purchasing14.02 hectares of flood-free land at Industry Central, Murwillumbah, thanks to funding from the NSW Government to create resilience and protect local jobs.
The award-winning initiative allowed eligible landowners to enter an expression of interest process to swap their flood-prone land with Council-owned, flood-free land.
Following a rigorous third-party assessment, Council has voted unanimously at the November 2019 Council meeting to endorse eight local organisations to sign up to the arrangement.
Seven successful applicants
The successful applicants are all long-term local businesses including: 30 Marine Parade Pty Ltd; All Home Products and Improvements; H & EJ Williams Pty Ltd; Mick Bourke Transport; Murwillumbah Truck Centre; North Commercial Pty Ltd (Hayes Steel); and, O’Connors Transport Murwillumbah.
Tweed Shire Council will also be relocating its Council Depot, where extensive machinery and equipment was damaged in the flood in 2017.
The next phase of the project involves the preparation of allotment allocation plans, execution of Land Exchange Agreement Deeds and the preparation of contracts for sale of land. When this work is complete Council will commence the task of undertaking the land subdivision.
Ten years to rebuild and relocate
Businesses will have up to 10 years to rebuild and relocate and their former flood-prone land will be ‘back zoned’, most likely for community uses, in order to remove physical impediments from the flood plain.
Council’s Acting Manager Land and Economic Development Ray Musgrave said hundreds of jobs were heavily impacted by the 2017 flood and this is a step towards protecting those that were most severely affected from future flooding.
‘The relocation of these businesses to flood-free land will give them long term resilience to climate change and give them the confidence to invest and grow their businesses in the future and we expect that this project will protect existing jobs as well as creating new job opportunities,’ said Mr Musgrave.
‘This land swap deal is the result of an initiative that was cleverly designed by Tweed Shire Council just 10 days after the flood. It demonstrates both State and Local government commitment to ensuring the sustainability of our community-based businesses’.
For more information visit https://www.yoursaytweed.com.au/landswap.