Time to capitalise: Chamber says get ready for Games
THE NSW Business Chamber is calling on the State Government to direct funds to help the Northern Rivers capitalise on the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Jane Laverty, NSW Business Chamber Northern Rivers regional manager, said "the (State) Government has not done enough to support the region” and help it prepare for the Games.
She said funds kept aside to help locals recover from the flood could be used to help the region capitalise on the major event just across the border.
"There is some money that's sitting there earmarked to assist business,” she said. "But to be quite honest, it's not moving.”
She said "we're less than 12 months out from the games” and plans needed to be put in place urgently.
NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley backed the chamber and said government had a role to play.
"I think there's a role for state and federal governments,” he said.
"The NSW Government should understand the Games coming to the Gold Coast is a terrific opportunity for Tweed communities and businesses in particular to do well.”
Mr Foley said he had promoted the Tweed's cause to the Queensland Premier and would do so again.
Tweed councillor Warren Polglase said the region needed to do more before it missed an important opportunity.
"The only thing I'm aware of is we're not doing much at all,” he said.
"I don't know where council is directing their activities to be involved in this and what we've done because there's nothing that's been put before us as an elected body for the organisation or even some of our own elected people. That's totally disappointing. I can go back a number of years to when they had the Games in Brisbane and we finished up getting a few of the international teams practising in the Tweed.”
A Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games spokeswoman said no pre-event training was confirmed in the Tweed. She said the event offered "a unique opportunity for Tweed Shire”.