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Byron Shire
June 9, 2023

Call to stop work on new Tweed Hospital

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Hayley and Jim Paddon and Bill Fenelon visit a productive Cudgen farm. Photo supplied.

A call to stop work on the new Tweed Valley Hospital site has been made by Greens state candidate for Tweed, Bill Fenelon, amid allegations that the decision to move the hospital site away from the current location in Tweed Heads was done on a ministerial whim. The call comes following a meeting with local Cudgen farmers Hayley and Jim Paddon who are part of the local action group Relocate Tweed Valley Hospital (RTVH).

According to RTVH, ‘The decision to move the hospital away from Tweed Heads is simply the Health Minister’s personal overruling of the Planning Minister’s 2017 North Coast Regional Plan, and neither the Council or the public were consulted before the announcement.’

Expand current site

Mr Fenelon is calling for support to return to the original decision to expand the Tweed Hospital at its current site, rather than to continue with the more recent plan to build a new nine storey hospital at either the Cudgen site near Kingscliff or at the Kings Forest site.

‘What should be a bipartisan decision to provide quality healthcare has degenerated into unhelpful political point-scoring,’ said Mr Fenelon commenting on the ongoing ‘war of words’ between sitting Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest and Labor candidate Craig Elliot.

‘If they really had the community’s best interests at heart, they would stop bickering and reach a sensible solution that would bring the community together,’ he said.

‘That will never happen if a hospital is built either on the National party’s proposed Cudgen site or Labor’s proposed Kings Forest site. The only advantage that Kings Forest has is that it would not be located on rich, fertile, red soil. All the other impacts apply to both locations, that is, increased traffic congestion, loss of amenity, giving a green light to high rise and over-development, which the community vehemently opposes,’ said Mr Fenelon.

‘The clear solution is to retain and expand the current Tweed Heads Hospital north of the river. There’s ample room for expansion and the zoning already allows for high rise. On top of that, the majority of the Shire’s population reside in Tweed Heads, so it makes perfect sense to keep the hospital where it is.’

Call for investigation

Tweed Shire Council has called for an investigation into the hospital site selection process and the release of all the documents on the shortlisted hospital sites, as well as the option of expanding the existing site. Bill Fenelon is calling for the works at the Cudgen hospital site to stop immediately until the outcome of this investigation has been fully assessed.

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  1. Our Greens Mayor Katie Milne has advised that there is plenty of room for expansion at the current Tweed Heads hospital site. The bowling club car park is for sale. The bowling club have indicated an interest in selling. The Tweed Shire Council chambers can be moved to smaller premises in another building. Council only needs enough space for people to pay their rates. Also the current site is zoned for high rise.

    There is no question we need a level 5 regional hospital. There is no reason why it can’t be at the current Tweed Heads hospital site. Has anyone asked the people north of the river how they feel about losing their hospital?

    • If anyone is to do the asking it would be Tweed mayor Katie Milne.
      Katie has a stake in keeping the Hospital in Tweed Heads as it was her idea.

      • It was not Katie Milne’s idea to keep the hospital in Tweed Heads. It is the North Coast Regional Plan that states that it was always intended for the hospital to be located in Tweed Heads and to be expanded on that site when the need arose.

        • I could not find any statement in the Plan referring to the hospital . It does show a health precinct symbol i Tweed Heads, and in the context of similar symbols at the location of Lismore Base and Coffs hospital that could be interpreted to indicate that is where the hospital should stay, and so supports your argument.

          It is good to see you and others here are so keen to refer to and support the governemnt’s Regional Plan. You might note in the Regional Plan the absence of any Northern Rivers rail line, and that it proposes land planning allow for a transport corridor down the Tweed Coast, as does the Tweed Shire Transport Strategy which proposes allowing in the long term term for a possible bus way.

          You might also like to consider the Regional Plan envisages tourism in 2036 will incldue an “Enhanced walking and cycle trails”, a prediction that the continued growth and extension of rail trails in Victoria suggests is likely to be correct.

    • I agree with your perspective David. To me it’s a no brainer. So many new developments and buildings are done due to politicking and often political vanity projects such as the new football stadium in Sydney are carried out by ego driven decision-makers at the expense of common sense and our precious environment showing a blatant disregard of community wishes.

    • Every person I have questioned has stated they want the hospital to remain in Tweed Heads and be developed. The expansion was promised and fully funded by Provest and the National party in 2014. Provest has no credibility what so ever and should be resigning!

  2. The proposed site is a very queensland style deciscion.

    The area proposed grows the very best quality produce from
    committed local farmers and sells direct.

    Keep NSW special and stop the Tweed Heads sprawl
    moving South like cane toads….

  3. The proposed site is a very queensland style deciscion.

    The area proposed grows the very best quality produce from
    committed local farmers and sells direct.

    Keep NSW special and stop the Tweed Heads sprawl
    moving South like cane toads….

  4. The move south is to get the hospital away from Queenslanders. It’s an inhumane decision by beancounters in Sydney. Discusting. It’s not just the people of Tweed Heads losing their hospital. It’s Coolangatta and surrounds too.

    • Normally the use of facilitates near borders is sorted out, based on mutual usage, between states and territories ultimately as part of the COAG processes. NSW for example pays the ACT for the use of Canberra hospital by those in surrounding NSW shires. There is quite a lot of to- and fro- over the QLD NSW border but usage is well documented by residence and payment can be worked out.

      But perhaps they could use a Byron solution and charge QLD plated cars outrageous fees for parking at the hospital. That might give all the NSW owners who lived in QLD for several hours on the day they happened to register their car, a bit of an incentive to replace the maroon plates with nice bright yellow ones.

  5. I’m all for expanding economic growth in Tweed ie creating new jobs for the betterment of all locals bearing in mind we have 10,000 more homes being built soon accomodating some 14,000 more residents so Tweed needs to create more jobs! Please, don’t build over our farms but rather expand their production and up TRADE. What about a new sea port to trade from also! Keep the hospital at its current site and upgrade it which is doable.


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