North Coast news bites: 13 stories you might have missed
1. Exhibition with never-before-seen works from renowned artist coming to Northern Rivers
'Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul' will feature at the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre from January 8 to February 28, 2021.
The touring exhibition from the Bundanon Trust explores a lifetime of landscape paintings by renowned Australian artist Arthur Boyd.
Curated by Barry Pearce the exhibition is drawn principally from Bundanon Trust's own collection of the artist's work.
Presenting a number of never-before-seen works created by Boyd as a teenager, the exhibition offers the first in depth look at the artist's powerful early grasp of the landscape as a subject.
On Friday 15 January, 5.30-7pm, the Tweed Regional Gallery will be hosting a special Sunset Session with Bundanon Trust's collections and exhibitions manager Jennifer Thompson who will deliver a floor talk to the exhibition.
Bookings are essential: https://trg-boydsunsetsession-2021.eventbrite.com.au
2. How to access your special seniors discounts in the North Coast
The Tweed's older generations can start planning a busy new year with the 2021 NSW Seniors Card Directory.
The directory lists the best discounts for Seniors Card holders from thousands of businesses across the state.
"The Directory is full of savings, discounts and ideas in Tweed which encourage active lifestyles as seniors travel and engage with our community," Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said.
"We know older people have spent months at home to protect their physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic and now they can unlock the purchasing power of their Seniors Card to plan an exciting 2021."
The Directories will be available at Service NSW centres, public libraries, local councils and Australia Post outlets across the state from 18 December.
3. Local TAFE students to benefit from site upgrade
TAFE NSW campus at Kingscliff will use its share of a $100 million in state funding for campus maintenance programs including minor construction, plumbing and electrical work.
Funding will also be allocated for a range of new training equipment including a floor drill press, blast freezer and a car at the Kingscliff campus.
3. Bus fares to be cut in the New Year
Tweed bus passengers are set to keep a little more change in their pocket as public bus ticket prices will be slashed from January 1, 2021.
"Customers will save up to 30 cents on short trips between 3-8km while the largest fare reductions are for longer-distance trips over 200km, which we are reducing by 50 per cent, or around $25," Tweed MP Geoff Provest said.
"There will also be simpler and cheaper daily tickets, including a $5 daily ticket for short-distance trips less than 8km, and a maximum daily ticket price of $30, which means customers save just over $70 per day when they are travelling over 200km."
Concession fares will be offered at half the adult fares, and the Regional Excursion Daily ticket for pensioners will remain at $2.50.
The $250 Seniors Regional Travel Card will be renewed for a second year with applications opening on January 18, 2021.
Visit service.nsw.gov.au for more info or call them on 13 77 88.
4. What's open and closed across the new year
The council offices at Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads will be closed across the New Year period to re-open on January 4.
For emergencies involving the council, call 02 6670 2400 24-hours a day, to report non-urgent matters, go to www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/ReportaProblem
A number of the council's services will continue throughout the festive season, including outdoor cleaners, coastal maintenance crews, cemetery services, parks and gardens, community services and rangers.
Tweed JUNKtion (formerly the Tip Shop), which is normally open Wednesday to Saturday, will be closed on January 1.
Tweed Regional Gallery will continue its usual days of operation from Wednesday to Sunday. Gallery DownTown will have reduced hours of operation.
Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah (normally open Tuesday to Saturday) will be closed on January 1 and 2.
Tweed Regional Museum Tweed Heads will reopen on January 3.
The Richmond-Tweed Regional Libraries at Tweed Heads, Kingscliff and Murwillumbah will reopen at 9am on January 4.
The Brett Street Cafe will also reopen January 4.
5. Disaster assistance available for the Northern Rivers
Natural disaster assistance will flow to flood and storm-affected residents, councils, businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations in the Lismore City, Tweed and Kyogle Local Government Areas.
Assistance available may include help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged, support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets, concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations, freight subsidies for primary producers, and grants to eligible non-profit organisations.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au
6. Free soft drink for designated drivers at Twinnies
Twin Towns in the Tweed has launched its third annual Designated Driver Campaign.
The initiative is in collaboration with the Tweed Heads/Tweed Coast Liquor Accord Inc and aims at ensuring Christmas and New Year's revellers are delivered home safely.
The 'Are you the Designated Driver?' campaign offers free post-mix soft drinks at Twin Towns, Club Banora and Twin Towns Juniors for patrons who have nominated to drive their family, friends or colleagues home.
When they arrive at the club, designated drivers can head to the bar and request a yellow wristband, which entitles them to free post-mix soft drinks while they're at the venue.
The campaign runs until January 1.
7. Funding to help our local shows bounce back in 2021
Two Northern Rivers agricultural shows, cancelled because of COVID-19, have received more than $82,000 in federal funding.
The Murwillumbah Show will receive $67,089 and the Bangalow Show will receive $15,000.
"This funding will help relieve some of the financial pressure due to the cancellation of this year's shows and help ensure they can bounce back next year," Richmons MP Justine Elliot said.
"Agricultural shows are part of the fabric of regional Australia, especially in areas like ours on the North Coast."
8. Boost for Noth Coast not-for-profits preschools in 2021
Ten preschool and day care centres in the North Coast will be able to improve their services with their share of more than $11 million in statewide funding.
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the QLE grants are greatly welcomed in the community, especially after a tough year with drought, fire and COVID-19 for early childhood services.
The grants will fund improvements to physical spaces by enhancing the quality of the grounds and buildings of services.
They can also be used to provide specialised educational programs for children to address identified educational needs.
The following services have been successful in accessing over $134,000 in funding from the QLE grants;
• Bilambil Community Pre-School and OOSH Inc
• Gumnut Community Preschool
• Pippies Early Childhood Centre
• Pottsville Community Preschool Inc
• Wallum Community Preschool and Family Centre Inc
• Tweed Heads Community Pre-School Inc
• Cooloon Childrens Centre Inc
• Possums Community Pre-School
• Kingscliff Mini School
• Goodstart Early Learning Ltd
9. Higher triggers reflect how quickly drought escalates in the Tweed
Tweed Shire Council has resolved to adopt new triggers for water restrictions that will see measures introduced earlier in times of unfolding drought.
The new triggers better reflect how quickly drought can escalate once flows in the Tweed River drop and the shire's reticulated water supply becomes entirely reliant on releases from Clarrie Hall Dam.
A project reference group has been reviewing the council's water management strategies for more than 18 months including a look into the completed 'Drought Management Strategy'.
The new water restriction triggers come into effect when Clarrie Hall Dam reaches:
• 90 per cent - begin water restriction pre-activation activities and ban water sales outside the Shire, with the target usage remaining at 160 litres per person per day
• 85 per cent - level 1 restrictions, asking all residents to reduce water use to 150 litres per person per day
• 75 per cent - level 2 restrictions, reducing water use to 140 litres per person per day
• 65 per cent - level 3 restrictions, reducing water use to 130 litres per person per day
• 55 per cent - level 4 restrictions, reducing water use to 120 litres per person per day, and
• 45 per cent - emergency restrictions, reducing water use to 100 litres per person per day.
10. Delving into Victoria Reichelt's archives
Gold Coast-based artist Victoria Reichelt has been creating art for more than 20 years.
Known for her realist paintings, Reichelt painstakingly documents endangered artefacts and spaces in transition.
For her latest solo exhibition titled Archive, Tweed Regional Gallery has brought together 25 artworks from public and private collections across Australia, spanning Reichelt's impressive career.
The paintings in this exhibition explore contemporary detritus; from stacks of books and magazines, paper archives and empty public libraries, to plastic cups and takeaway containers.
The exhibition will also feature Reichelt's latest series of shiny balloon-constructed images, that the artist describes as 'sarcastic landscapes'.
The exhibition will be on display until to May 9, 2021.
11. Farmers urged to look for fall armyworm
Farmers in Tweed are urged to be watchful for signs of damage and the presence of fall armyworm larvae in summer crops following the recent trapping of moths in various locations across northern NSW including Tumbulgum.
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the moths had been trapped at locations across northern NSW this month.
"Fall armyworm is an insect pest that poses a serious threat to a range of crops," he said.
"While it has been found in a small number of locations, it is anticipated that migratory flights of the pest will occur annually across NSW and fall armyworm may establish in some of the warmer parts of the State.
Mr Provest said signs included windowing of leaves where larvae have hatched and small shot holes as leaves expand, caused by larvae feeding in the developing leaf whorl.
Fast action to manage small larvae is recommended by NSW DPI and Local Land Services (LLS) to maximise control and help minimise further spread by restricting local infestations.
Anyone who suspects the presence of fall armyworm should immediately call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
For small larvae, the Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services recommend retaining samples with food, such as host crop leaves, and allow them to grow to enable photographs to be taken.
In most cases, NSW DPI will be able identify larvae from clear photographs which can be sent via an online form or to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details.
12. New construction pathway for local students
A new partnership with ELLUC Projects Australia has created a construction career pathway for students on the North Coast.
The partnership with the State government will involve training new workers around industry specific skills in 3D digital design and engineering with the aim to develop a new skilled workforce.
ELLUC Projects Asia Pacific managing director Elliot McLoughlin said the company was invested in the future of digital engineering in Australia.
He said ELLUC Projects has established its first Asia Pacific Hub in Tweed Shire and is committed to creating 65 new full-time jobs over the next five years.
"We have already been involved in some of the largest ongoing projects in NSW and South East Queensland," Mr McLoughlin said.
13. Delay of new Code of Conduct for short-term holiday lets could create confusion
The new Code of Conduct for the short-term holiday letting sector has officially come into effect as of December 18.
However a North Coast council has warned the full package of reforms is still some time away.
The new Code includes guidance and obligations for hosts and guests centred on minimum standards of good behaviour as well as formal avenues for complaints and dispute resolution.
Tweed Shire Council's planning and regulation director Vince Connell said the NSW Government's full package of reforms, relating to the permissibility and approvals for STHLs will not be in place until mid-2021.
"This delay in the introduction of the new STHL planning reforms is likely to create some confusion for both landowners and proposed STHL operators, as well as residents who wish to raise concerns about STHLs," Mr Connell said.
"In recent years the council has been attempting to apply a balanced approach to its compliance and enforcement in respect of STHL inquiries and complaints, and will continue to apply this approach until the introduction of the new planning legislation."
STHL or rental accommodation is generally defined as tourist and visitor accommodation which requires a Development Approval from the council.
In the Tweed residential zones, tourist and visitor accommodation is prohibited in the R1 General Residential, R2 Low Density Residential, and R5 Large Lot Residential zones, and permitted with consent in the R3 Medium Density Residential zone.
In the rural zones tourist and visitor accommodation is prohibited in the RU1 Primary Production and RU2 Rural Landscape zones, and permitted with consent in the RU5 Village zone.
These legislative requirements are currently the basis for any investigations undertaken by the council into complaints received from Tweed residents in respect of STHL use.
"Once the State Government's full package of STHL reforms are introduced, it is the council's understanding that NSW Fair Trading will have the primary responsibility for responding to complaints made by residents in respect of the conduct of legitimate STHL operations,
While NSW Councils will be responsible for STHLs that have commenced in an unauthorised manner under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979," Mr Connell said.