Barbara Roughan, Kingscliff
I have a response to Cr Polglase’s letter from the Daily News.
I completely agree with him when he says that ‘a hospital is not a normal development and should never be compared to an apartment or commercial building.’
How can it be compared, when a hospital is a mini city comprising multiple high rise buildings, requiring extensive additional services from the normal power, sewage and water supplied by local councils?
Mr Polglase states that extensive community consultation has been done. I firmly believe this statement is misleading and inaccurate, and ‘quite frankly is far beneath the standard that the community should accept’, to use his exact words. The tiny amount of community consultation done only happened after outraged residents demanded it! It was a feeble attempt to placate the community, with the intention of never deviating from the original flawed decision.
For some obscure reason this government is determined to develop the farmlands of the Cudgen Plateau. Why?
Health Infrastructure have confirmed many times that the old Tweed Heads Hospital will no longer function as a hospital, and all hospital services will be transferred to the new Tweed Valley Hospital. The hospital will be Relocated to Kingscliff.
In layman’s terms, this means closed.
Regarding the hospital possibly becoming a private and public hospital, look no further than the new northern beaches hospital at French’s Forest in Sydney. What has been promised for more than 30 years as a new hospital morphed into a private/public partnership, being run by a private company, Healthscope.
What would stop that happening here, as half a billion dollars is not nearly enough to build a hospital of this size, and it may need extra funding from the private sector. Especially when you consider that the new hospital will eventually have 900 beds, making it much larger than the new monster Gold Coast hospital at Southport.
The hospital can be expanded in Tweed Heads, by buying the Council Chambers in Brett Street where high rise zoning is already in place. If enough storeys were built initially, a new building would not need to expand onto more land in the future.
Finally, I agree with Cr Polglase when he states that elected representatives should conduct themselves truthfully, transparently and by the book. If only this had happened in the first place, with truthful statements and transparent decision making, our community would not be so angry with the entire Health Infrastructure Department.
But then, they’re not elected, are they?