Lindy Smith, Tweed Heads
The priority of the relocation of the Tweed Heads Hospital (TVH) to the Cudgen Plateau’s State Significant Farmland (SSF) was always to serve the land bankers, developers and future private commercial interests. A future health facility in the interests of the patients, doctors and staff, and the loss of state significant farmland and how communities would be affected was way down the list.
The company that signed off on the purchase of the site immediately adjoining the new Tweed Valley Hospital (TVH) site 10 days prior to the rezoning of the TVH site stated there were no plans to develop the site. They said it was just a coincidence when this sale came to light in March this year.
Common sense tells us that unless there was to be a return on an investment of millions, more than the land’s worth as rural land, that that price wouldn’t have been paid. So just eight months later the company has put its bid to the government for the land to be included for development as part of the TVH precinct (https://bit.ly/37oKQMO).
The devil in the detail is coming to light in the TVH Stage 2 application (hospital building and operation). On opening in 2023 there are to be 391 beds. Planning for the future of the TVH is only an eight year horizon to 2031 with increased beds to 545. So again the community has been conned with the spiel of 450 beds to double (900) with future expansion.
The Stage 2 application has again ignored significant issues and has not satisfied a number of concept approval conditions. The concept focus on views and architectural images were a con, with submitted plans now with much reduced views and design.
This stage of the process needs the direction from the Minister that a public hearing is held; and the government must release the independent ‘Site Selection Report’, ‘Tweed City Action Plan’ and ‘Tweed Health Precinct Background & Scenario Analysis’ and what has been the ‘discussion on land uses on the immediately adjoining sites’ to end the secrecy and serious lack of transparency and accountability.