While the NSW National/Liberal government determinedly dig in and pursue the Cudgen Plateau near Kingscliff as their preferred site for the new Tweed Valley Hospital and Greens MP and health spokesperson Dawn Walker has called for the current Tweed Hospital site to be redeveloped Country Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot has issued sitting Nationals member Geoff Provest the challenge of a public debate.
‘Mr Provest needs to find some courage and front up to a public debate to explain why he is imposing a seven storey hospital on prime agricultural land,’ said Mr Elliot.
‘Locals know I will stand up and take decisive action to protect what matters to the people of Tweed, it’s time Mr Provest came out of hiding and debated me on the location of the new Tweed hospital.
‘The location of the new Tweed Hospital should be determined by the community; not the Nationals and their Sydney mates who only want to open up Cudgen and Kingscliff to Gold Coast style overdevelopment.
‘There’s a clear choice, the Nationals want to impose an inappropriate high rise hospital at Cudgen near Kingscliff on protected agricultural land while Labor will save the farmlands and build the new hospital at shovel-ready Kings Forest better, faster and on budget.”
Local member for Tweed Geoff Provest has responded to the challenge saying that ‘It’s time the Labor Party quit playing politics with the new hospital. The location of the new hospital was determined by extensive public consultation and by experts at NSW Health Infrastructure. I have also already attended a number of public forums about the development.
‘We’re getting on with the job of building the new Tweed hospital, that’s the expectation of the community.
‘If the Labor Party have made a promise to a developer mate that they can’t fulfil, that’s their problem, not ours.’
Political donor runs consultation
However, as previously reported in Echonetdaily Federal Labor MP Justine Elliot has called for Mr Provest to explain why the Berejiklian government has a political donor running the current consultation process for the proposed Tweed Valley Hospital.
‘Peter Lawless and his company the Calcutta Group – who claims to be working for Health Infrastructure – was brought in by the Berejiklian government to help convince the community to accept the Cudgen site handpicked by the Nationals.
‘Donation disclosures reveal Peter Lawless donated $1,000 to the then Liberal treasurer Andrew Constance during the 2015 NSW state election campaign,’ Ms Elliot said.