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Byron Shire
December 5, 2023

Dry Dock Road Hotel in South Tweed to be restricted to midnight 

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Artists impression of proposed Dry Dock Hotel in Tweed Heads South.

The development application (DA20/1033) for the building of and operation of Dry Dock Road Hotel in Tweed Heads South was approved at yesterday‘s Tweed Shire Council meeting. Several conditions, including a reduction in operating hours, were made conditions of the DA’s approval. 

The original DA for the pub at 14 Fraser Drive, Tweed Heads South had been deferred in November 2021 for the Council’s community services unit (CSU) to do further assessment of the socioeconomic impacts of the future pub on the area. Of significant concern was that the DA included a TAB and gaming rooms that would remain open until 4am because in this location there are a number of vulnerable groups in the area and caravan parks and a manufactured home estate nearby. This had seen the CSU raise concerns relating to the impact the late-night gambling and drinking might have on people living in the area. 

The council had also asked the applicants to look at a number of more environmentally sensitive options including permeable paving in the carpark and an alternative to the proposed astroturf. The applicant had declined to take up those options or voluntarily cut back their operating hours to midnight. 

Councillors Warren Polglase (Conservative) and James Owen (Liberal) put the motion to approve the DA with that included a reduction in operating hours from 4am to midnight, as per the staff recommendation. 

Councillor Polglase pointed out that there had previously been a licensed venue at this site.

‘There has been a lot of movement to get this right. I think the report has now addressed the issues. The hours have been brought back to midnight,’ he said. Cr Polglase also highlighted the fact that the pub will be an employment generator for the area. 


Councillor Dr Nola Firth (Greens) sought a further condition to be added to the approval to replace the section of the proposed Astroturf area near the water with an alternative, non-plastic, substitute. 

‘It [Astroturf] sheds microplastics… there is a replacement made of sugarcane that has the same 15-year guarantee and has a similar price,’ said Cr Firth.  She also highlighted that the plastic versions of fake grass, like Astroturf, are currently under investigation by Minister for Education, Planning, and Environment and Heritage, Rob Stokes in relation to its environmental impacts. 

‘I would like to see us get ahead and start in the Tweed now,’ she said. 

The condition was accepted by Crs Polglase and Owen. 

Strongly supportive

Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) said ‘We are looking forward to having a quality facility in this area’.

‘There has been a liquor licence on this site since 2005. I am very strongly supportive of keeping the hours to midnight’ as the DA ‘has generated some concerns in the community. Midnight is a reasonable time in a residential area. I think this is a good compromise for a way forward,’ she concluded. 

All councillors voted in favour of the DA with the conditions. 

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  1. This DA that includes drinking and gambling could be detrimental to the area. The area of South Tweed Heads is low-socioeconomic and is well catered for with Tweed Tavern on Midjimbul Drive. So this new establishment will cause competition between the two establishments that will not be conducive to lifting the economic tone for the local residents. South Tweed Sports Club is also in the area so you will have three drinking establishment vying for the same patrons. There is enough domestic violence and drink-driving offences and with the COVID-19 pandemic further emotionally depressing people, drinking alcohol could become a problem. Many see alcohol as a panacea for depression.
    This block of land fronting Dry Dock Road and Fraser Drive many years ago was deemed to be a petrol station. With petrol prices increasing, a petrol station would be more beneficial to local residents. To pass this DA will surely put a shadow over the new council as council is supposed to increase the tone and wealth of the Shire.

  2. Tweed Shire needs this like a hole in the head. Never mind those who call South Tweed Heads lo socio-ecoomic, not accurate, when we have a plethera of Clubs right on the door step that are doing it tough already.
    Short term employment whilst being built, casual employment for those who can get a job.
    One asks why were some of te Councillors so interested in this being approved? Are they hiding what allegances they have?

  3. Correct myself if I am wrong, is this Tavern going to be built next door to the Gemlife over 50’s village that is under construction or is it going to be part of it…?? Thanks…

  4. Well said Emily ^^^ The last thing Tweed needs is another pub filled with punting and pokies. As Emily said, there are already 5 venues in the immediate area that offer the same thing.. Toby’s Tavern, South Tweed Sports, Cooly Golf club, Club Banora, Twin towns juniors, all within 5km of each other.. how many frigging venues do we need?? This council is a disgrace… All about kick backs for themselves, not thinking about the community whatsoever.. Another pub hahaha I hope it fails like everyone else has in that spot


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