Bond University Associate Professor Dr Ned Wales has been appointed to a new government body which will help bring sustainability and prosperity to the growing Tweed Shire Council area.
Dr Wales, from the Urban Planning area of the Mirvac School of Sustainable Development, will be part of the newly formed Northern Region committee of the Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPP). He is only one of two Tweed residents appointed to the five person panel.
Dr Wales will be called on to review applications for the Tweed that bear regional significance, including commercial, residential and retail proposals with capital investments between $10 million and $100 million; development where Tweed Shire Council is the proponent; and development of private infrastructure including hospitals and educational facilities.
Dr Wales said the Tweed was a growth area and he was excited to contribute to its future.
Dr Wales has a long association with the Tweed area. He lives in the Tweed, attended Murwillumbah High School and his family has farmed the area since the 1970s.
“The Gold Coast has undergone tremendous growth in the past 10 to 15 years, and as a result its greenfield sites are about to run out in the next seven to 10 years,’’ said Dr Wales.
“That’s placing considerable pressure on affordability on the Gold Coast.
“Naturally, developers have recognised the merits of the neighbouring Tweed area, especially with major infrastructure additions such as the Tugun Bypass and the Gold Coast Airport expansion making northern New South Wales so much more accessible.
“All this added attention is placing strains on assessment, and I think the planning panels have hatched from that. I commend the New South Wales Government for establishing these panels.’’
Regional planning review panels have been a prominent feature of regional development assessment in the United States.
The New South Wales Government has appointed three members to the committee.
The Tweed region has already undergone significant growth with the Salt and Casuarina villages at Kingscliff. There are also proposals for major residential communities at Cobaki Lakes, Burringbar and Uki.
“Bond University, through the Mirvac School for Sustainable Development, has a real focus on encouraging development that achieves the best environmental, social and economic outcomes possible,’’ said Dr Wales.
“I intend to share this approach and knowledge in my role on the planning panel.’’
Dr Wales’ appointment was endorsed by Tweed Shire councillors.