Tweed MP Geoff Provest (Nationals) says Health Minister Brad Hazzard is prepared to meet with opponents of the site the government has selected for the new $534 million Tweed Hospital.
Despite previously saying the time for talk was over, Mr Hazard will meet with the Relocate group ‘if a suitable time can be arranged in the next two weeks, while parliament is still sitting,’ Mr Provest told Echonetdaily.
He said he believed it was ‘important for the group to be able to meet with the minister in order to fully understand the government’s position on the new hospital site’.
‘I know there are a number of people unhappy with the chosen site, especially with the amount of misleading statements that have been put out in relation to it, which is why I think it is important for a representative from the group to meet with the minister,’ Mr Provest said.
‘We need to get on with the job of building this life saving hospital, which is why it is important to move forward as a community so that we can celebrate the new facility together.’
Mr Provest said the offer was particularly aimed at the Relocate group ‘who were in Sydney meeting with the opposition last week’.
Although there’s probably been well over 18 months of continuous consultation, including a community reference group, if they would like to put forward their thoughts – if they feel strongly about it – I will try arrange it’.
Tweed option too expensive
He said the offer did not extend to Tweed Mayor Katie Milne (Greens), who has advocated redeveloping the hospital at the existing site in Tweed Heads.
That would cost about 40 per cent more. You would have to reclaim about 50 homes plus the bowls club.
‘We need a site that can grow over the next 50 years, not one that his going to be constrained.
‘The redevelopment of the Lismore Base Hospital on the existing site has been a nightmare,’ he said.