The Tweed’s first flood-free industrial land swap project is one step closer to fruition with construction works planned to begin at South Murwillumbah in August.
Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry turning the first sod with Alder Constructions GM Dean Cheffers (right) and Williams Group Australia GM Lyndon Poirrier (left) at the new flood-free industrial land swap area in South Murwillumbah.
The innovative plan will see eligible business landowners swap their flood-prone land with Council-owned, flood-free land at Industry Central, located in Lundberg Drive, South Murwillumbah.
Alder Constructions was awarded the $3.18 million contract for the design and construction of all public infrastructure at Industry Central in Lundberg Drive, including the roads, stormwater, reticulated sewer, water supply and telecommunications.
So far, 5 local businesses along with the Tweed Shire Council Depot, have confirmed they will be moving to the new site, with 4 allotments remaining unallocated. Council will soon be undertaking expressions of interest to allocate these remaining allotments to eligible businesses.
The new allotments are due to be completed in early 2023 and, once settlement has taken place, businesses can commence building their new premises on the site.
Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry said she was excited to see construction planned for August. “Land swaps are complex legal and planning initiatives which are rarely undertaken, with this project already 5 years in the making,” Cr Cherry said.
“It is crucial we undertake this land swap. We must get businesses off the floodplain and up to higher ground if we are to ensure confidence in the local economy. Our region is growing and we are keen to support our business sector wherever we can. This could pave the way for future land swaps in the Tweed and across the Northern Rivers.”
Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers said Alder was thrilled to be part of this award-winning initiative.
“We’ve been warmly embraced by our southern neighbours since expanding further afield and to be part of this landmark project that will protect businesses and jobs in the area is truly exciting,” Mr Cheffers said.
“We will be designing, constructing, coordinating and overseeing the entire project including all surveyance, civil works, earthworks, construction of applicable public infrastructure, allotment preparation and subdivision certification.”
Williams Group Australia General Manager Lyndon Poirrier said the long-time Murwillumbah company was looking forward to moving to the new site.
“This project is an opportunity to future-proof a number of our businesses to ensure we continue our great contribution to the local economy which we have done since our establishment in 1935,” Mr Poirrier said.
“This will allow us to pursue the potential for a new state-of-the-art production facility on a flood-free, worry-free site, enabling us to explore new options such as world robotics, integrated operating platforms and logistics. It will also allow us to provide our people with a safer working environment into the future, aligning with our desire to live up to our motto to always be ‘one step ahead’.”
Other businesses that have signed up for the land swap include 30 Marine Parade Pty Ltd, Mick Bourke Transport, North Commercial Pty Ltd and All Home Products & Improvements.
The innovative land swap was initiated by Council in the aftermath of the March 2017 flood, which decimated much of the industrial area of South Murwillumbah.
Thanks to a $6.6 million grant from the NSW Government, Council was able to acquire 14 ha of suitable flood-free land at Lundberg Drive, South Murwillumbah, and develop the new industrial estate.
Following the record flood in February and March this year, Council has launched a new Expression of Interest process to gauge interest in a second land swap project. This would require suitable land to be identified and for the NSW Government to provide financial support.