Tweed recognised at state planning awards


THE COMMUNITY and Council’s shared vision for the sustainability and future growth of the Tweed’s unique rural villages has been honoured with one of the state’s most prestigious planning awards.

Tweed Shire Council’s Rural Villages Strategy won the ‘Best Planning Ideas – Small Project’ category at the Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) NSW Awards for Planning Excellence recently.

The award recognises outstanding planning concepts for a project at local or neighbourhood level.

The commendation from the PIA judges highlighted the community participation focus of the Rural Villages Strategy which ‘established a genuine partnership between Council and the villages, characterised, by its success in developing new connections and sense of ownership between previously disparate communities’.

The honour was accepted by Council’s Unit Coordinator, Strategic Planning and Urban Design, Iain Lonsdale and Strategic Planner Matt Zenkteler at the state awards dinner in Sydney.

“This is a significant honour for the community members and the Council planning team involved in this project; especially the members of the community reference panel without which the project would not have united our villages in the collaborative and sharing way that it did,” Mr Lonsdale said.

“The Rural Villages Strategy recognises that the key to the future of Tweed Shire’s rural villages lies in their assets: the nature, the people and the culture.

“The local communities, through their reference panel representatives, were instrumental in providing the foundation and direction for the strategy and we are indebted to them for their generosity giving up their time and effort attending and contributing to the various workshops, reviewing and providing material, and scrutinising and editing our work always with open and constructive minds.”

The Rural Villages Strategy was developed with extensive community input and was put on public exhibition in September 2015 and endorsed and implemented by Council in February this year.

The document identifies and explores issues and opportunities for the villages, while taking into account the principles of sustainable planning, council and state government priorities and the opinions and desires expressed by the Tweed community.

To find out more about the Rural Villages Strategy please visit