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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

No transparency over Tweed Hospital site

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Barbara Roughan, Kingscliff.  

First the NSW Health Department announces a major regional hospital on State Significant Farmland at Kingscliff without any prior consultation. Then a 6000 page development application is put forward, giving the community only 28 days to read and object to it.

Two forms are needed to object, but are only online, thus leaving out the majority of affected elderly residents from the objections process.

The first form, the SEPP, short for State Environmental Planning Policy, concerns the rezoning of the farmland from State Significant to allowable for high rise, with no height limits. The second form, the EIS, deals with environmental impacts from the development. Very importantly, if the SEPP rezoning process is disallowed, there can be no development of this land at all!

However, the newspaper advertising these forms had the wrong address for the SEPP form, but the correct address for the EIS. Perhaps this was a genuine mistake from the Department of Planning.

Then the Health Department sent out a mass email called the Tweed Valley Pulse, leaving out the vital information that two forms were required , and only mentioned the EIS form. The SEPP information was completely omitted!

One has to wonder if two government departments have made genuine mistakes in informing the public of vital information, or if this is just another case of the lack of transparency which has dogged the whole site selection process.

When this is our community’s only chance of being heard, the very least we should expect from these bureaucrats is honesty and transparency, which currently is missing in action!



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