NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley’s commitment to building the new Tweed Valley Hospital at the Kings Forest development rather than the current government selected site at Cudgen, near Kingscliff, that is on State Significant Farmland has drawn the ire of sitting member for Tweed Geoff Provost.
‘Labor Leader Michael Daley has admitted he will delay the delivery of the Tweed Valley Hospital by years and blow the budget by at least $100 million, significantly delaying vital health services to the community,’ said Mr Provost.
However, Labor has condemned both the site selection process used saying ‘that the National Party had chosen the Cudgen farmland site as a “Trojan horse” to throw away height limits in Kingscliff and to open the door for over-development on prime agricultural land.’
Labor said the announcement has come after they received tens of thousands of signatures opposing over-development in Kingscliff and the National Party plans to build the Tweed Hospital on prime agricultural land.
‘Whether it be high rise in Kingscliff or a nine-storey hospital on Cudgen farmland – Geoff Provest and the Nationals are failing to protect the Tweed from inappropriate developments,’ Labor’s candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot said.
Developing current hospital site?
A key issue for many locals has been the removal of the hospital from the current Tweed site. In July The Greens called for the hospital to be re-developed on the current site.
This is in part due to the koala corridor and low lying areas of the Kings Forest site that will require significant filling to bring it above flood levels.
‘The Greens believe that Tweed desperately needs a new hospital to support our growing population and ensure the region receives access to quality medical services. However, we want sites in Tweed Heads to be considered for the new Hospital,’ said Greens North Coast MP Dawn Walker.
Ms Walker included in that ‘the existing site in Tweed Heads, which is close to the Tweed Heads population centre, existing allied health services and could be expanded through acquisition of adjoining properties to the west of the existing hospital’.
Current site saved under Labor
The current Tweed Hospital is built on valuable land with a close proximity to the river and services. Mr Daley has now also pledged to retain the old Tweed Hospital site in public hands for community and continuing healthcare.
‘My commitment is ironclad – Labor will build the hospital in Kings Forest and protect the current Hospital from being handed over to developers,’ said Mr Daley.
‘I challenge Tweed National MP Geoff Provest to join Labor and guarantee the current Hospital will be retained for health services or community use – and not turned into just another development.’