Goeff Provest at the new police site.
Goeff Provest at the new police site. John Gass

Fast tracking of new police station will save money

MEMBER for Tweed Geoff Provest hopes the new Tweed Heads police station and local court plans progress quickly to save taxpayer dollars.

On Tuesday morning, My Daily News broke the story that a development application for the new Wharf St precinct had been lodged with Tweed Shire Council.

The plans showed a three-storey building with an underground car park.

Mr Provest told the Daily News he expected to hear if the station would go ahead soon.

"I would say we will hear the decision within three months," he said.

It has to be constructed quickly because the price can go up and that's happened before," he said, referring to a project that took more than nine years to come to fruition in Pottsville HealthOne.

The member, who had been campaigning for a new station for a number of years, said the entire project should take between 18 months to two years.

"It has to be constructed quickly because the price can go up and that's happened before," he said, referring to a project that took more than nine years to come to fruition in Pottsville HealthOne.

Because of the value of the police station project is more than $15 million, the decision is up to the Joint Regional Planning Panel if the building is to go ahead.

NEW DIGS: Tweed-Byron Local Area Command could soon have a new home in the heart of the Tweed Heads CBD at Wharf St.
NEW DIGS: Tweed-Byron Local Area Command could soon have a new home in the heart of the Tweed Heads CBD at Wharf St. Contributed

Mr Provest said the entire cost of the project was closer to $22m when including land cost, the courthouse fit-out and the police station.

The money for the courthouse would be taken out of the Attorney General's budget and not the police force's fund.

A number of locations for the courthouse had been scouted but according to Mr Provest the Wharf St location "made perfect sense".

"It is good access and will incorporate the courthouse," he said.

"It's much more efficient for prisoner transfers and I'm really impressed with it."

The location was chosen by NSW Police officials who determine it based on their needs.

Documents submitted to council by Newton Denny Chapelle surveyors showed five other locations were scouted at the same time as Wharf St.

These included a site on Old Bogangar Rd, Kings Forrest, which was "too far away from a major commercial and residential area". It also didn't fit into the police's timescale requirements.

A site at Cudgen Rd was rejected due to "significant issues raised by government agencies to farmland protection classification over the land".

Tweed Coast Rd, Cabarita and two Departments of Lands sites in Pottsville were rejected due to the department's rejection to sell the land.

Timeline

  • May 2010: NSW Police lodged application with council to build the Kingscliff West Police Station.
  • Dec 2010: Planning Department stops the new police station on Cudgen Rd.
  • May 2011: DA submitted  for a new station at Marine Pde, Kingscliff, plans go on public display in June.
  • Sept 2011: Council's planning officers recommended against approval of a new $8million Tweed Byron police headquarters on the beachfront at Kingscliff, citing a lack of car parking as a major reason for refusal.
  • October 2011: JRPP approve the plans for the Marine Pde station.
  • July 2012: Plans to rebuild Kingscliff police station as a regional headquarters have been frozen by NSW Land and Environment Court.
  • Nov 2012: JRPP rejects Kingscliff location.
  • Sept 2103: DA application lodged for new Tweed Heads location.


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