The announcement of the new ambulance station for Kingscliff was welcomed by locals. However, it comes with the reminder that the state government, through their local member Geoff Provest (Nationals), committed to no further development on State Significant Farmland (SSF) following the divisive decision to build the new Tweed Valley Hospital on SSF.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced that the Kingscliff community will soon have a new ambulance station as part of the NSW Government’s $232 million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration (RAIR) program, delivering a better work environment for paramedics.
Site to be determined
The site for the new ambulance station will be announced in the coming months and Mr Provest said that ‘the new station will replace the 65-year-old station at 48 Marine Parade and provide a contemporary working environment for local paramedics’.
Historically locals have fought to retain the SSF on the Cudgen plateau having fought off a number of state infrastructure projects including a police station on the land until the NSW Liberal-National government determined that the new Tweed Valley Hospital be built on SSF. This created a huge division within the community and Mr Provest gave a commitment at the time that no further development would take place on the SSF.
Keep your promise
‘Our members welcome today’s news of a new ambulance station for Kingscliff, which is indeed good news for the community,’ Peter Newton, President of the Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association Inc (KRAPA) told The Echo.
‘We note that Minister Hazard is yet to announce the site for the new station and given that our State Member, Mr Provest, has provided an iron-clad guarantee that no remaining state significant farmland will be subject to development, we look forward to news of a site that meets community expectations and needs.’
There are genuine concerns that the state government will go back on its promise to stop any further development on SSF in the area. This was raised in February 2021 when there were moves from both Brisbane developer IRBS to bring their SSF land that is adjacent to the hospital site into a future stage of the hospital development and the ‘recent marketing of protected, state significant farmland at 738 Cudgen road as having ‘development potential… opposite the Tweed Valley Hospital’.
‘A new ambulance station will ensure our brilliant local paramedics have the modern equipment and facilities to deliver high-quality emergency care well into the future,’ Mr Provest said.
According to the press release from Mr Hazzard and Provest the RAIR program is the single largest investment in regional NSW Ambulance’s 126-year history, with 24 new or upgraded ambulance stations already delivered or under construction as part of the $132 million Stage 1 program, with another $100 million worth of ambulance assets being delivered throughout rural and regional NSW under Stage 2.