River Water

Man missing in Tweed River after jumping off house boat

Police are on the hunt for a man who’s gone missing after jumping off a houseboat on the Tweed River in the early hours this morning.

The 30-year-old’s understood to have jumped off the boat around 2.30am, as it was moored near Chinderah.

Police were called in after the man failed to resurface, sparking a major search.

Local police officers from Marine Area Command are being assisted by members of Marine Rescue NSW and Surf Life Saving NSW, while a search of the foreshore is also being coordinated.

The man is described as being of Caucasian appearance with a tanned complexion, about 180cm tall, 115kg with a solid build, with dark brown shoulder-length hair and a goatee. He has tattoos on his arms and body. At the time he was wearing board shorts.

Six people were on the boat at the time of the incident and are assisting police in their investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident or the man’s whereabouts is being urged to contact police.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

House Fire

Man charged over ferocious Tweed Heads unit block blaze

A 23-year-old man has been charged with a string of offences after allegedly sparking a fire that ripped through a unit complex in Tweed Heads.

Police attended the Boundary Street unit block just before 11.00pm on Thursday following reports of a concern for welfare.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to a woman before noticing a fire in another unit.

Several fire crews rushed to the scene, while around 20 residents were forced to run for their lives as the flames took hold of the property.

Thankfully they managed to escape uninjured, however, eight police officers who assisted with the evacuation were treated for smoke inhalation, with four taken to hospital.

A man who jumped from a second storey balcony to escape the blaze was also hospitalised with minor injuries.

He has since been released and charged with nine offences including destroy or damage property, aggravated break, enter and commit indictable offence, common assault and five counts of destroy or damage property with intention of endangering life.

The young man, who police say was known to them, was refused bail and is expected to appear at Ballina Local Court on Saturday.

NSW flood support payments expanded

More flood victims in northern NSW will be able to access extra financial support, with relief measures extended to four additional local council areas.

Residents impacted by the disaster in the Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed local government areas will be able to access two more weekly disaster payments.

The payments will be $1000 per adult and $400 per child and will be available from March 22.

The support comes a week after additional support payments were given to residents in the Lismore, Clarence Valley and Richmond Valley council areas.

However, there was criticism from residents and local MPs that areas further north that were affected by the floods were not included in the original expansion of payments.

The inclusion of support to the four new local councils comes after assessments were made of the flood areas by the National Recovery and Resilience Agency and Emergency Management Australia.

Emergency Management Minster Bridget McKenzie said support was being rolled out quickly as possible.

“While people in northern NSW aren’t able to work, are still clearing out their homes and businesses, the extra two $1000 payments we’re rolling out to eligible families and individuals will support our communities as they start to rebuild their lives,” she said.

Government Services Minister Linda Reynolds said the payments would help provide additional relief to those who had been impacted by the natural disaster.

“The catastrophic scale and impact of what we’re seeing in this region of northern NSW is exactly why this extra support is needed,” she said.

So far, more than $862 million in disaster recovery payments have been made to more than one million people in NSW and Queensland.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier on Thursday denied flood support measures were being delayed until he returned from a trip to Perth.

“When you’re talking about the investments of hundreds of millions of dollars – and indeed billions now – then people would expect this to go through the proper assessment of the proposals which we did yesterday,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Perth.

Earlier on Thursday, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston announced the government would provide an additional $9 million to 83 emergency and food relief services supporting flood victims in northern NSW and Queensland.

The funding will help local services provide food, grocery vouchers, clothes, household items and petrol for people who have been impacted by the floods.

© AAP 2022

“Deplorable, disgusting”: Nationals MP unleashes over PM’s flood response

A state Nationals MP has slammed the federal government’s response to the floods across northern New South Wales, admitting he’s not sure he could vote for Scott Morrison.

The massive cleanup effort is continuing across the northern rivers following the flood disaster but thousands of residents are still waiting for extra assistance.

Several areas including the Tweed were excluded from extra Commonwealth disaster payments announced by the Prime Minister last week.

The region is also still waiting for the federal government to sign off on a new flood relief package.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest says the anger across the region is enormous.

“I just think the federal government has messed this up, I can put it no other way that they’ve lost the faith of the people,” Mr Provest told the ABC.

“I can tell you whether I’m down in caravan park or one of the little villages, there’s a real venom out there directed at the Prime Minister that he doesn’t understand whats occurred on the ground.”

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest at Fingal Heads

Tweed MP Geoff Provest. PHOTO: Cam Jackson / myGC.com.au

The Prime Minister visited Lismore last week where he announced extra Commonwealth disaster payments for affected residents in Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Clarence Valley.

But there was nothing for other affected shires such as the Tweed, Ballina or Byron.

Mr Provest says he remains hopeful payments will be expanded to other areas but warns people are getting desperate.

“What it’s actually doing is hurting the people that can least afford it, to rebuild their lives and we just hope to be included like all Australians and to be excluded like this… is deplorable, disgusting and I’m really disgusted with the Prime Minister and his office for the way he’s handling this.”

Asked if the Prime Minister’s response to the floods could cost him his job, Mr Provest did not mince his words.

“I’d even go out on a limb to say that I would struggle to vote for him because what I’ve seen is a failure of the federal government to listen and more importantly to deliver.”

His comments come after NSW Liberal Upper House MP Catherine Cusack announced she was quitting state politics over the “unethical” allocation of disaster payments.

Tweed man busted drink-driving on ride-on mower

A man has been charged with high-range drink-driving after allegedly being caught taking a motorised lawnmower for a joyride south of Tweed Heads overnight.

The 40-year-old was pulled over by police after he was spotted cruising through the intersection of Shearer Court and Australia Drive at Terranora around 7.45pm.

He was subjected to a roadside breath test, which allegedly returned a positive result.

The man was arrested and taken to Tweed Heads Police Station, where he underwent a secondary breath analysis which returned an alleged reading of 0.243.

He was issued a Court Attendance Notice for high-range PCA (second offence), drive with interlock device not functioning/circumvented, and use unregistered class-A motor vehicle on road.

The man is due to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday 2 May.