Knox Park adventure playground scores regional award

Murwillumbah’s popular Knox Park adventure playground is in the running for a national award, after receiving regional recognition at prestigious industry awards.

The playground took out a Regional Award for Excellence in the ‘Playspace: Minor (less than $500,000)’ category at the Parks & Leisure Australia Awards for Excellence, competing against other projects from across NSW and the ACT.

The judges said the project had converted an area with little local appeal into a popular destination for children and families to get together and have fun.  “It’s a great park that provides for a wide range of users.  The project has improved public safety and subsequently increased its use,” the judges said.

“It’s an excellent combination of fixed equipment, natural environment and shade provision.”

The Knox Park project will now go on to compete for the national award at the Parks & Leisure Australia National Conference being held in Adelaide in October.

TSC Landscape Architect, Ian Bentley (centre)
Photo: Tweed Shire Council’s Landscape Architect, Ian Bentley (centre) accepts the regional award for the Knox Park playground from Parks & Leisure Australia NSW/ACT President, Les Munn (left) and Cricket NSW’s Manager State Infrastructure & Government Relations, Anthony Brooks

The adventure playground has been extremely popular with children and families since its completion in October last year. It was installed in the existing Peace Walk, to take advantage of the shade of existing trees and reinvigorate that section of the park.

The playground was designed to engage children in imaginative play that interacts with the natural surroundings.

It forms part of a $1.2 million youth precinct at the central Murwillumbah park, which also now features a plaza-style skate park and scooter precinct, an adventure playground with cutting-edge design features, as well as facilities for basketball, handball, soccer and netball.

The overall youth precinct was funded through a $500,000 Regional Development Australia grant from the Federal Government, $250,000 from the Murwillumbah Lions Club and $500,000 from Council.

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Friday 27 May, 2016
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide / Volcano Towns / Murwillumbah

Restoring waterways of Cudgen plateau

Farmers and Council are working together to expand soil conservation projects on the Cudgen plateau.

The two-year project, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust and coordinated by Council, will expand soil conservation activities to restore 3.5 hectares of riparian land along 1.5 kilometres of Cudgen plateau waterways.

Farmers_Council_cudgen_115113_640 Photo: Farmers and Council are working together to expand soil conservation projects on the Cudgen plateau.

Five landholders will work with Council to minimise the loss of valuable topsoil from farms, improve aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity and connectivity and improve water quality of the local stream and the estuary it feeds into, Cudgen Creek.

The loss of topsoil remains the most significant environmental issue affecting the sustainability of the plateau’s farming activities, polluting local waterways, degrading riparian habitat and reducing productivity.

“The plateau is one of our most important areas of agricultural land, our future food bowl, and farmers need support to protect these production values and maintain the health of the local environment,” Council’s Program Leader – Sustainable Agriculture, Eli Szandala, said.

“The benefits of native vegetation in riparian areas, for both catchment health and on-farm production, are well documented.

“However, the expertise and resources required to undertake restoration works are limited for most farmers.”

Well-vegetated riparian areas capture sediments, nutrients and farm chemicals before they enter the waterway, stabilise stream banks, particularly during flood events, and improve aquatic ecosystems.

They also provide habitat for beneficial insects and predatory birds that prey on agricultural pests.

The project will revegetate and maintain more than one hectare of riparian land, planting 8000 native trees and other plants.  Weed control will also be undertaken throughout the project area to assist native regeneration and remnant vegetation.

Mr Szandala said stream bank stabilisation and improved drainage design and management would be undertaken where required, to further reduce sediments and contaminants entering the waterway.

“Community education is a key element of the project, with fact sheets, training and assistance to be provided to participating landholders and the community about managing soil erosion and improving farm productivity through environmentally beneficial techniques,” he said.

A workshop will showcase the benefits of native vegetation for intensive production systems and demonstrate the mutual benefits of farming and biodiversity conservation.

Council has gained support from North Coast Local Land Services, Tweed Landcare Incorporated, WetlandCare Australia, landholders and bush regenerators to help implement the project and share information.

“This project will strengthen past revegetation works, develop additional areas of native riparian vegetation and improve on-farm management practices for the benefit of farmers, the environment and the local economy,” he said.

For more information, contact Eli Szandala at or (02) 6670 2599.

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Friday 27 May, 2016
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See also: Big Volcano Towns : Kingscliff

Good news for Pottsville’s endangered koalas

A new koala project in the Pottsville Wetland will encourage community involvement to help protect and restore koala habitat.

A_koala_160834_640Photo: A koala in a newly planted tree shows how restoring koala habitat can help populations recover

The project will be funded by a grant of $99,283 over three years from the NSW Environmental Trust and a Tweed Shire Council cash and in-kind contribution of $170,000.

NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, Mark Speakman announced the grant onsite at Pottsville on Monday 25th May.

The project aims to:

  • Increase primary koala habitat within and adjacent to the Pottsville Wetland
  • Reduce threats to koalas from domestic dogs
  • Reduce threats to other threatened fauna (such as ground nesting birds) from foxes and cats
  • Improve habitat condition and reduce weeds
  • Improve fire management
  • Involve the community and schools through koala conservation activities

Council’s Director Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, welcomed the funding.  “The Tweed Coast’s koala community was recently declared endangered by the NSW Scientific Committee, which just highlights the importance of projects such as this,” Ms Stinson said.

“Pottsville Wetland is a unique environmental asset at the back door of the Pottsville community that provides critical habitat for the declining Tweed Coast koala population,” Council’s Director Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, said.


Photo: An aerial view of the Pottsville Wetland which provides critical habitat for the declining Tweed Coast koala population

“As part of this project, we will engage with the community and encourage the active involvement of neighbours of the Pottsville Wetland and the broader community, so we can work together to protect and enhance Pottsville Wetland and its koalas.”

“As a bonus, this project will also benefit a host of other threatened species and Endangered Ecological Communities at this site as well as complementing similar actions Council is undertaking across 268 hectares of its adjoining coastal koala reserve system at Pottsville,” she said.

This project will form part of the overall Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management to help the Tweed Coast koala population recover to more sustainable levels over the next 20 years. For more information see

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Thursday 26 May, 2016
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide / Volcano Villages / Cabarita, Pottsville Beach & Hastings Point

Banora Point Walking Group celebrates fifth anniversary

A Tweed community walking group has celebrated half a decade and many kilometres of active striding for improved health.

The Banora Point Walking Group held a breakfast recently to celebrate its fifth anniversary and honour its pioneers and stalwarts.

The group meets at the Banora Point Community Centre each Wednesday morning at 7am and 40 of its members gathered for their milestone anniversary walk.

Photo: Council’s Director of Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson (left) celebrates with the Banora Point Walking Group on their fifth anniversary. 

They were joined by Council’s Director of Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, who presented certificates to 13 participants who completed the inaugural walk and have walked consistently throughout the five years. A water bottle was given to each participant to mark the occasion.

Banora Point Walking Group is supported by Council and is part of a Heart Foundation national network of free walking groups coordinated by volunteer leaders.

“The leaders do a fantastic job organising the walks and ensuring they are safe for participants,” Ms Stinson said.

“Our leaders for the Banora Point group have been in their roles since they completed their training and induction in 2011.”

Banora Point walking group coordinator Lyn Porter was honoured with a NSW Golden Shoe Award in 2014, nominated by the leaders for her commitment to Heart Foundation Walking.

Tweed Shire also has Heart Foundation Walking groups at Tweed Heads, Tumbulgum and Murwillumbah.

For more information visit

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Monday 16 May, 2016
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One night only – special fundraiser – An Evening with Donald Friend

Exclusive performance by the legendary Terence Clarke AM

On Saturday 25 June, Tweed Regional Gallery will host the legendary theatre director, composer and actor Terence Clarke AM for an exclusive performance of ‘An Evening with Donald Friend’.

This enthralling one-man show captures the essence of Donald Friend, the man and the artist, and reveals incidents of Friend’s exotic and colourful life.

Donald Friend (1915-1989) was a rare artist.  He was a painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, illustrator, decorator and writer.  This play, devised by art historian, publisher and friend of the artist Lou Klepac OAM, narrates stories selected from the 44 extraordinary diaries written by Donald Friend and now held in the National Library’s collection.

Photo: Terence Clarke AM, who will perform his one-man show ‘An Evening with Donald Friend’ at Tweed Regional Gallery. 

The diaries represent the personal vision of an important Australian artist, and also document Australian culture from the 1930s to the 1980s through his eyes.  His writing is humorous, caustic and incisive.

President of the Friends of the Gallery, Lyn Stewart, said: “it’s a coup to welcome this renowned thespian to the Tweed, we are thrilled to be hosting this event and it’s the first time we’ve held a play in the Gallery.”

‘An Evening with Donald Friend’ is being presented to coincide with the exhibition The Mystery of Things: Margaret Olley & David Strachan, on display in the Margaret Olley Art Centre until 7 August 2016.  

Donald Friend was a contemporary and dear friend to both Margaret Olley and David Strachan.

Don’t miss this exclusive event – one night only – presented as a special fundraiser by the Friends of Tweeed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc.

Event:            An Evening with Donald Friend by Terence Clarke AM
When:            Saturday 25 June 2016, 6pm – 8pm
Tickets:         Strictly limited. On sale now. Wed – Sun, 10am – 4.30pm, phone (02) 6670 2790
Cost:              $50 per person, $45 Friend of the Gallery or Gallery Foundation Member

Light refreshments will be served from 6pm until 6.25pm

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Wedensday 11 May, 2016.
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Guide : Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre

In-depth survey maps ocean floor at Kingscliff

Survey data used to monitor beach erosion patterns

Ever wondered how beach erosion is monitored in the Tweed?  It might be more hands-on than you think.

Every six months when ocean conditions are good, Council borrows an inflatable rescue boat (IRB) from the Cudgen Headland Surf Club and meets early on Kingscliff Beach.

Council_officers_Mitch_Liddell,_St115908_640Photo: Council officers Mitch Liddell, Steve Sharp and Warren Boyd between check points

After completing a thorough safety check, two Council officers launch the boat.

A surveyor in a wetsuit and fins then wades into the ocean, carrying a prism on a long pole. Meanwhile, a small survey team with instruments takes its position at a fixed point on the beach.

The surveyor in the water wades out on a predetermined line, placing the pole on the ocean floor at set points, allowing the prism to signal back to the survey station on the beach.

The information from each point is recorded, allowing Council to map any changes in sand levels since the last survey.

Registered_Surveyor_Mitch_Liddell_120104_640Photo: Registered Surveyor Mitch Liddell takes a reading of the ocean floor.

Registered Surveyor Mitch Liddell travels out approximately 500 metres, being guided by the officers in the IRB and stopping every 20 to 30 metres to secure the pole and ensure the surveyors onshore can pick up the signal.

“The measurements are used to work out the depth of the sea floor, helping to determine how much sand has moved since the last measurement and how much sand will stay on the beach, according to differences and patterns in previous records,” Mr Liddell said.

Council’s Senior Engineer – Civil Design, Warren Boyd, said the survey is repeated from four fixed positions along Kingscliff Beach and five positions on South Beach.  Provided ocean conditions remain good, the entire survey takes a day to complete.

“Collecting this data helps create a timeline that reveals what is really happening below the waterline,” Mr Boyd said.

“We started monitoring when the erosion was quite severe in 2011 due to swells coming from the east and north-east rather than the south, but we also have historical monitoring dating back to the 1970s to compare today’s levels with.”

Council’s Manager Design, Paul Morgan, said surveying was a key element in nearly every job undertaken.

“Before every project, be it a bridge, road, carpark, waterway or major stormwater system, the survey team examine and record the area and its features to construct a map, plan or description for the next steps,” Mr Morgan said.

“Monitoring and profiling beach erosion  is no different.”

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
Tuesday 3 May, 2016
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See also: Big Volcano Visitor Map, Big Volcano Towns : Kingscliff