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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Does work at Tweed Hospital site breach of Commonwealth laws?

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Plan of the new Tweed Valley Hospital. Source NSW Health Infrastructure

Potential breaches of Commonwealth laws following the commencement of construction works at the new Tweed Valley Hospital site have been raised by NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker. Concerns over damage to the habitat of endangered species have also been raise.

‘Excavation works have started at the new Tweed Valley Hospital site with the construction of extensive water holding ponds and associated earth works that appear to discharge directly into state-protected wetlands,’ said Ms Walker.

‘These wetlands have been identified in Commonwealth legislation as vital habitat and a corridor for a number of Threatened and Endangered Species, including the Critically Endangered Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail which is known to live in this area.

‘I’ve written to the state environment minister, Gabrielle Upton asking her to investigate potential breaches of environmental law and whether Health Infrastructure NSW was legally obliged to refer works that impact on the habitat of Mitchell’s Rainforest snail to the Commonwealth government, as required by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

‘Indeed, any activity that is likely to adversely impact habitat critical to the survival of an endangered species is regarded as a matter of national environmental significance and must be referred for assessment under federal environment law.

‘I stand with community members who are rightly concerned about the rushed nature of the excavation works that are being carried out for the new Tweed Valley Hospital and the environmental impact on adjoining wetlands and the endangered species that live there,’ she said

Major tender awarded

In the meantime Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced that Lendlease Building has been appointed to progress the next stage of planning and design, and subject to planning approvals undertake early works for the new hospital.

‘The planning and early works package – worth around $25 million combined – includes on-site activities such as bulk earthworks, retaining walls, establishment of in-ground services and roadworks, which are subject to and will commence following approval of the Stage 1 State Significant Development application,’ said Mr Provest.

Health Infrastructure has confirmed that, ‘Stormwater management works have commenced on the Cudgen Road site to reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants that can wash from the farmland into the environmental area under heavy rainfall.

However, they provided no response to the question regarding the discharge of water and earthworks into state-protected wetlands.


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7 COMMENTS

  1. The out going LNP Govt and it’s Tweed Nationals member know they are wasting taxpayers money. They know very well that all work on this site will end the minute they are removed from Govt in March, probably for decades.
    They know full well the community is completely against the hospital on this forcibly acquired site.
    Again and again we see the LNP have a record of doing this in many States.
    The entire community is appalled at what may be described as possibly criminal haste that they are moving at, to rezone this SSF for development by the secretive and shadowy National party operatives that have instigated, what can only be described as the “Great National party Cudgen Land Grab”!
    This will never be forgiven or forgotten, the entire community is now irretrievably divided against the National party, probably forever! In March the National party will reap what it has sown!

    • There is a slight problem.
      The Labor candidate is not campaigning too well as he is aligning with a developer as a developer owns Kings Forest.
      The developer would want a share of the Hospital profits if it was built at Kings Forest.
      Also the Greens candidate for the seat of Tweed seems not to be running. He or she has never been seen.
      For Labor to win the seat Labor needs a strong Green vote.
      Therefore Geoff Provest is likely to retain his seat of Tweed.

  2. Provest has to go, along with the entire Berejiklian LNP government. When supposedly democratic governments repeatedly ignore laws and allow their mates to break the law, then we are in a dictatorship. And that’s how this LNP mob behaves. Throw them out in March next year.
    Of course, the ALP is not the answer, as they are also owned and controlled by their corporate donor mates. And who could forget Obied and MacDonalds’ corruption?
    Vote Greens and shake up these old corrupt parties for good. What have we got to lose.

  3. “The entire community is appalled” – what a lot of garbage. Myself and many many more like me are excited about our new hospital in CUDGEN so don’t bother speaking on behalf of the community. Nobody cared about the environmental aspects of the site while tons of chemicals and fertiliser were dumped on that very land over several decades, so many untruths and so much hypocrisy.

  4. the building will be the death knell for the Berejiklian Government. enormous white elephant in the Shire.
    The huge increase in population in Tweed Shire isnt at the southern end but in and around Tweed Heads and the Tweed Shire Council has just earmarked Cobaki Lakes for 10 storey high rise apartment blocks. Where is the closest Public Hospital and emergency dept for Tweed residents going to be?…… Robina Hospital.
    The specialist doctors and staff do not live in the near vicinity of Cudgen and the travel times to the
    other end of the Shire will be prohibitive resulting in a massive resignation of these essential staff.

  5. What a load of unadulterated crap. To think the majority of tweed residents are against this hospital site is a blatant lie. Protests to date have seen less than 1000 in attendance – less than 5% of population. As for the 7,000signatures on a petition, the majority of them are from “rent a crowd” most of whom aren’t Tweed residents. That’s if it even exists. As for a change in government that remains to be seen. We definitely don’t need another Elliott representing us- it would only bring the same level of incompetence to the shire that we already have with our federal member.

  6. It is up ot the people of the Tweed and the gvoernemnt where they want to put there hospital. However, I cannot imagine why you would describe the site as “forcibly acquired”. The request for an expression of interest for land within 15km of the coast between Tweed Heads and Pottsville was advertised in local and real estate media No one forced the owners of the land chosen to express interest just as no one forced any one else to express interest. The acquisition was done promptly, which is what the people of NSW would expect.

    There is a question as to whether a major infrastructure project should start at this time with the next election it is not that many months away. Interestingly the Labor Green governemnt in the ACT started its very expensive and controversial light rail project a few weeks before the start of the caretaker period before an election and locked the governemnt into long contracts with high costs if it did not proceed. Nationals leader John Barilaro lives in the NSW satellite suburb of Jerrabomberra not twenty kilometres from Canberra, and I have no doubt he saw how effective was the ACT the Labor Green tactic of giving voters the fait accompli of work underway that is costly to get out of.

    As you sow Labor and Greens, so shall you reap.

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