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Byron Shire
March 25, 2023

Kings Forest hospital site not shovel ready: Tweed MP

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National Party member for Tweed, Geoff Provest.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest (Nationals) has cast doubt on claims by federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot (ALP) that Labor’s preferred site for the new Tweed Hospital is ‘shovel ready’.

In the latest of a series of increasingly heated statements from the two pollies, Mr Provest said the proposed Kings Forest site is still subject to state approval of a new Koala Plan of Management.

Koala activity

Mr Provest said the department of planning and environment (DoPE) was ‘currently finalising its assessment of a revised Koala Plan of Management for Kings Forest. The proposal seeks to increase the amount of koala habitat to be removed from the site and change the koala offset and management obligations’.

He added that ‘over 2,000 public submissions have been received by the DoPE objecting to the proposal, highlighting the site is far from shovel-ready’.

‘The department has asked the proponent to respond to the issues raised. Once the DoPE has finalised its assessment of the proposal, it will be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for determination. The Commission will hold a public before determining the proposal.’

Mr Provest said ‘it might interest Mrs Elliot to know that, in a bizarre twist, it is actually Kings Forest that would require further approval from the Commonwealth Environment Department under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in order to build a hospital, due to a mapped area of high koala activity adjacent to the site proposed.

‘The frequency of the Labor Party’s misleading claims regarding development and planning processes is far from coincidental,’ Mr Provest said.

Justine Elliot Labor Federal MP for Richmond. Photo supplied.

Agenda to delay construction

‘We are fully aware of the reasons why the Labor Party is pushing the Kings Forest site and frankly, this is why the NSW Labor government was voted out in the first place.

‘Labor has a clear agenda to delay construction of a new hospital for the Tweed, putting the interests of a major ALP donor ahead of those of local residents of the Tweed,’ Mr Provest said.

Bullyboy attacks

While she did not respond to the allegation of favouring developers, Ms Elliot has batted back the claims – and accused Mr Provest of bullying.

Yesterday she called on Mr Provest ‘and his National Party mates’ to ‘stop telling lies and stop the bullying’.

‘Geoff Provest should start doing his job instead of telling outright lies and launching personal bullyboy attacks against women in public life.

‘It’s no wonder there are no women representing the Nationals on the North Coast – these people are outright nasty bullies.

‘I stand with our community in fighting to save our state significant Cudgen farmlands while building a better, faster and on budget hospital at Kings Forest.

‘The fact is Kings Forest is shovel ready and properly zoned for a hospital.

‘My job as a local MP is to stand up for our community on the issues that are important to us and I won’t be silenced by National Party bullies,’ Ms Elliot said.

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  1. “My job as a local is to stand up for our community, and the issues that are important to us” . Really? It’s sad that she overrides the important issue of water mining that our community are opposed to. Wait a minute! I suppose her community just consists of ex NSW State Labor Ministers! Job well done Ms Elliot. See what the ballot box will bring you considering your stand on community issues!

    • From what we read in what you write Gwyn, you are community minded. You have your town at heart and you care. And you seem to be honest in what you dare to say. Why don’t you stand for election?
      You have water mining as an issue to dig into. Soak the water up and let the issue flow and take it up. What we need is a leader at the Parish pump, someone to lump the load. People will follow and help and give a hand and make it easier. Put your foot forward on the stump.

  2. Shovel ready?????

    The Best Kings Forest site is actually 1.5 meters below the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) level.

    First they have to raise the site with sand or fill – then they have to wait a few years to let it all settle then they can start on a hospital provided the plans are all done and the koalas are managed well and 10000 trees are also planted.

    Desperate lies from labor.

    A KF hospital would not see a patient until 2027 (3 state elections away). Instead the flood free Cudgen road hospital will be open in 2023.

    • And Nathan, what about the infrastructure to get to Cudgen Road. Both locations are thwart with stupidity! Infrastructure established and the most undeniable important factor is the already densely populated area of the Tweed being Tweed Heads and Coolangatta with quick access from Tweed West and Banora to Property No. 11943 being; Ourimbah Road TWEED HEADS 2485 [see: https://s1.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Pages/XC.Track/SearchProperty.aspx?id=11943%5D as this is close to the airport, major road infrastructure and of course population which in no way does the other two have any reflection of what I have mentioned until [and I say, maybe] 2030 – 2050.
      I’m sure our local members could really cut a deal with the QLD government and maybe we could call the public hospital; Tweed – Coolangatta Hospital as like how we have handed over our land to the Gold Coast Airport, it’s time QLD stepped up to the plate and paid for half of this funding needed for a public hospital for the very southern end of the Gold Coast?

  3. Kings Forest is not ‘shovel ready’ for anything.
    If it was they would have put a shovel into the ground. Instead the developer continues to delay any work done on that site at all with what seems to be the aim to maximise profit according to market forces.
    A hospital at Kings Forest would need to go through a lengthy approval process with many constraints and objections. The approval at Cudgen is already under way.


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