Ireland takes chamber rein
ONE of the fastest-growing business communities on the Tweed - small and medium-sized operators in Kingscliff and the Tweed Coast has a new champion.
Des Ireland, co-proprietor of Kingscliff Professionals Real Estate for the past 12 years and previously CEO of Murwillumbah District Hospital for 17 years, has taken the reins of the Kingscliff and Tweed Coast Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Ireland intends to champion the cause of local businesses, particularly the need for improved car parking, a new bridge across Cudgen Creek and clear town-planning rules.
Planning certainty would help avoid some of recent rows over issues such as the height of new buildings which are rapidly replacing the old Kingscliff.
Mr Ireland stepped into the presidency late last week when long-time president Rose Wright, who narrowly missed out on being elected to the now-sacked Tweed Shire Council last year, stood down at an executive meeting.
He intends standing for the position at the chamber's upcoming annual general meeting in two to three months.
He says his main challenge is to "represent small and medium-size businesses and ensure they get a fair go in the planning and development of the area".
"It is also important," he added, "that all organisations representing the people of Kingscliff work together for the benefit of the whole community."
That, he quietly hopes, may include the rival Kingscliff and Tweed Coast Business Association which has developers among its members.
The biggest issue, he said, was parking in the oncequiet seaside township.
"At a personal level I submitted a proposal to Tweed Shire Council a couple of years ago regarding two- level parking along Marine Parade," Mr Ireland said.
"It has a natural height where you could put a deck straight off Turnock Street and have parking underneath. By my estimates we could establish at least 180 car parks in there at relatively small cost."