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Byron Shire
March 7, 2021

Did Cr Polglase get it wrong?

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Lindy Smith, Tweed Heads

In response to Cr Polglase’s attack on Cr Cooper (TDN 6/10/18) for providing information to the community re the proposed relocating of the Tweed Hospital to the Cudgen State Significant Farmland (SSF). I urge Cr Polglase to practice what he preaches and take a leaf out of Cr Cooper’s book and be “truthful, transparent, and by-the-book” rather than preach the directive of the political masters’ spin (that does not pass the test) and take the time to review the documents as we the people do.

Contrary to Cr Polgase’s claims the announcement of the relocation of the Tweed Hospital to the Cudgen SSF in April was with zero consultation and the undertaking of such after the fact is simply a sham, and there is yet to be any expert opinion or stringent modelling sighted.

The government documents now confirm “existing hospital services provided at the Tweed Hospital will transfer to the new hospital once it is completed.” And the proposed relocation of the Tweed Hospital to Cudgen is to be part of the network of hospitals across our region being Byron Central, Murwillumbah District and John Flynn (private, Tugun Qld) hospitals, i.e. NO Tweed Hospital.

The Minister’s recent letter to Council lets the cat out of the bag and reaffirms the communities concern of much more development on the Cudgen SSF with the loss of those irreplaceable lands forever and risk of the Kingscliff coastal village suddenly becoming a regional city and Tweed Heads losing its long term strategic planning city status.

As for the private-public matter the community are being kept in the dark. But what we do know is the governments addiction to privatisation and the fact a component of the new Byron Hospital went out for tender for private services. And the new Maitland Hospital for public/private partnership was scrapped early this year after the backlash over plans to enlist the private sector, and has been the case for other hospitals. So Cr Cooper’s raising this concern is well founded.

Contrary to Cr Polgase’s claims the endorsed ‘Tweed Hospital Redevelopment Master Plan’ (MP) did not include any acquisition of homes or the bowling club and the MP could be further enhanced without such acquisitions.

Thus, the political spin is far beneath the standard of what our community should accept and indeed are entitled to nothing less than honesty and transparency from elected representatives.

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