An offer by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to meet with opponents of the planned Kingscliff site for the new Tweed Hospital has been described as ‘an empty gesture’ by Labor’s contender for the state seat of Tweed, Craig Elliot.
Yesterday Tweed MP Geoff Provest (Nationals) told Echonetdaily he had arranged for Mr Hazzard to meet with members of the Relocate group, who support the plans for a new hospital but not on the Cudgen farmland site currently selected, provided they could get themselves down to Sydney within the next two weeks.
But Labor candidate Mr Elliot, who supports a plan to move the hospital to Kings Forest, said the meeting would be ‘simply a half-hour window for the Liberal Health Minister to repeat that Cudgen is their site’.
‘This remains a bad decision that will hurt our region forever and confirms Mr Provest is not listening and has the wrong priorities for Tweed,’ he said.
‘Everyone acknowledges that we deserve and need a new hospital but, let’s be clear, the current Tweed health crisis is a result of Geoff Provest’s inaction and neglect over the last 12 years in office.
‘Labor is listening to locals and if elected we will build a new public hospital at Kings Forest and in doing so save Kingscliff and Cudgen from Gold Coast-style overdevelopment and congestion,’ Mr Elliot said.
He added that the March 2019 NSW state election would be ‘a referendum on the hospital site – as a vote for Labor is a vote for the hospital to be built at Kings Forest; better, faster and on budget’.
‘The Kings Forest site is an 860 hectare shovel ready development and building can start immediately at the time of the election.
‘Kings Forest will be the only site ready to go.
‘In comparison, Geoff Provest and his Sydney Liberal government have decided to impose a hospital on inappropriate protected farmlands at Cudgen which has not even been purchased or zoned appropriately.
‘If this Liberal government will not change the hospital location then it will be up to locals on March 23 to throw Geoff Provest out to save Cudgen and Kingscliff from the National Party’s overdevelopment agenda,’ Mr Elliot said.