A private consortium is proposing to build a $250m health and education development on farmland next to the new Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen.
If approved, the ‘Cudgen Connection’ project would see a 5.7 hectare green field site turned into a major precinct complete with a new university campus, aged care facilities, essential worker housing, a private hospital, a ‘medi-hotel’ and allied healthcare.
There would also be a community hub and farmers’ markets, and a koala research centre.
But the proposal has already received a swift shot across the bows from Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest.
In a statement released today to coincide with the announcement of the proposed development, Mr Provest said: ‘proponents of a new private development should reconsider their position if they think they will be able to rezone any existing Kingscliff prime agricultural land’.
‘Whilst we are building a state of the art health facility at Cudgen that should not be seen as a green light to concrete additional Cudgen farmland. This is not welcome.
‘We committed to protect the remaining Cudgen farmland and that is what we are doing.’
Not to be deterred, the joint partners behind the proposed development, Centuria Capital Group and Digital Infratech, said the Cudgen Connection would ‘help deliver a standalone health, education and community precinct providing jobs and essential worker housing on the Tweed Coast….’
‘This is a significant opportunity to provide the Tweed community with its own health services, education facilities and job-creating infrastructure,’ said Andrew Hemming, Centuria Healthcare’s Managing Director.
‘In particular, the COVID-related border closures have highlighted the need for a health and community precinct within the region rather than relying on Queensland services.’
The developers say the Cudgen Connection would ‘create about 1,000 new long-term jobs in the health, education, training and service industries and hundreds more in the design and construction phases on the Tweed Coast’.
‘It would also employ world class sustainability features, childcare facilities, community and public spaces and a children’s playground.’
There would also be a community hub to house a Centre of Excellence for Koala Research, operated by the Koala Research Foundation Australia, a business incubator, and not-for-profit organisations that focus on providing much-needed services for youth, and in the fields of mental health and suicide prevention, as well as other services.