Community concerns raised over the recently announced location of the new Tweed Valley Hospital on fertile farmland in Cudgen have led to a call from NSW Greens MP and North Coast spokesperson, Dawn Walker to release information on the 30 sites that were considered for the hospitals construction.
‘The NSW Health Minister is on the record saying that the Cudgen Road site was selected from more than 30 potential locations across the region. Well it’s time the Liberal-Nationals came clean and revealed to the community where those alternate locations that they investigated are and why they weren’t selected for the new hospital site,’ said Ms Walker.
‘The Greens have long supported and campaigned for an upgraded Tweed Hospital, but believe that the proposed site at Cudgen Road is not appropriate due to the loss of state significant farmland and concerns that it may unleash further development on the precious red soils across Cudgen Plateau.’
A spokesperson for the office of Geoff Provest MP pointed out that according to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the Tweed Valley Hospital site, provided by Health Infrastructure who were in charge of the site selection, there is the intention that this information will be released.
The FAQ provided by his office states that ‘Once the requested debriefs for expression of interest (EOI) proponents have been completed, the project team will provide an overview of the areas in which sites were investigated and the key issues and considerations applicable to each area.’ However, the online version does not currently include this information.
‘There is no doubt that the Tweed community need and deserve the new hospital they have been promised. But fertile farmland is too precious to lose – surely there is a more appropriate location in Tweed Shire than the Cudgen Road site,’ said Ms Walker.
‘I’ve lodged questions with the NSW Government relating to the new Tweed Valley Hospital and they have a month to answer and I’ll be letting the community and concerned farmers know their response.’
A spokesperson for Mr Provest confirmed with Echonetdaily that the decision regarding the location of the new Tweed Valley Hospital ‘was made by Health Infrastructure and he had no input into the site selection process.’