Tweed Shire’s new Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) says she is clearly focussed on the future and making sure that the Tweed Shire is resilient and sustainable as it faces future challenges. This has been echoed by new Deputy Mayor Reece Byrnes (Labor) who sees that Tweeds strength is in it’s people.
Like many coastal areasTweed Shire has tourism as one of its key economic and employment sectors. Mayor Cherry has highlighted the vulnerability of this sector to the impacts of events like COVID-19.
‘Tweed is an incredible place to live,’ she told Echonetdaily, however, ‘the COVID pandemic has shown us we may need to diversify our economy to not have such a heavy focus on tourism products but have a more even spread in employment. So we will focus on employment generating businesses and local food production to help us all have a more sustainable future.’
Deputy Mayor Byrne reiterated the point telling Echonetdaily that, ‘My immediate focus as Deputy Mayor is rebuilding and recovery after the COVID-19 crisis.
‘The Tweed is facing unprecedented challenges and our focus must be on job creation and economic growth into the future.
‘Both the state and federal governments must urgently provide more funding to the Tweed Shire and I intend holding them to account each and every day.
Post COVID-19 we will need to embrace opportunities and look for more innovative ways our residents can work and thrive in our shire.
Praising the work of former Mayor Katie Milne (Greens) Ms Cherry said that while there is a only a year till the next elections she will look to consolidate the work of the former Mayor.
‘What with the devastating 2017 flood and then COVID-19 we have a backlog of great projects that the community have asked for that need to move forward. I am incredibly committed to the Renewable Energy Action Plan that Council has in place and the commitment to provide 50 per cent of Councils energy requirements through renewable energy by 2025.
‘We need to think of future-proofing our new residents as much as we can. For me, this is requiring water tanks and solar on new developments, ensuring cycleway connectivity and greening our urban centres to reduce heat island effects.
‘Council can also be a leader in driving the change for demand for recycled products so that in all new works and equipment we are installing, we are incorporating recycled products as much as possible. It is through this kind of initiative we can move forward in trying to deal with our “waste” products.
‘All of these things are strategic directions that five years of leadership by Greens Mayor Katie Milne have already put in train and I will use the next 12 months to cement these into all of Councils practices and work with the community to be the best we can be.’