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Byron Shire
June 9, 2023

Green support SSF and free parking at Tweed Valley Hospital

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Protecting State Significant Farmland (SSF) and committing to free parking at the new Tweed Valley Hospital are issues Green candidates for Tweed, Ciara Denham, is willing to stand strong on.

See answers on floodplain development and short-term holiday letting in Tweed here.

An artists impression of the new Cudgen Connection proposed for the Cudgen Plateau’s stat significant farmland.

Will you give an unequivocal guarantee to protect the remaining Cudgen State Significant Farmland including any attempts to rezone for non-agricultural purposes, such as those proposed by the ‘Cudgen Connection’?

The Tweed Greens, with Dawn Walker former Greens NSW Parliament MLC and Katie Milne former Tweed Shire Council Mayor, have continually advocated to protect Cudgen State Significant Farmland. This includes The Greens consistently advocating for the Tweed Valley Hospital to be retained at its current location in Tweed Heads and the grounds to be expanded, which would have allowed for an increase in services. The Greens have also consistently advocated against the new Hospital being placed on State Significant Farmland.

I will advocate to protect the remaining Cudgen State Significant Farmland.

Will you honour the commitment made at the last State Election to provide free parking at the TVH?

Yes, I will honour the commitment made at the last State Election to provide free parking at Tweed Valley Hospital. This is required by the state government to alleviate the traffic impacts that the new hospital will have on the Kingscliff and Cudgen communities. 

I will also honour this commitment to support our health care workers, who are struggling under the cost of living and housing crisis and the public sector wage cap. In 2020, the NSW Health Services Union estimated that free parking at Tweed Valley Hospital would save health care workers $1,000 a year. At a minimum this should be implemented, alongside removing the public sector wage cap and giving a 15 per cent pay rise for nurses, midwives and paramedics, and implementing the Nurses and Midwives Association patient-staff ratios.

What commitments will you make to mitigating the impact of the TVH’s identified 5,500 additional daily traffic movements on local communities eg substantial free parking, regular & timely shuttle bus service, enhanced public transport?

To mitigate the increased daily traffic movements surrounding the new Tweed Valley Hospital, I am committed to working with the State Government on the ongoing assurance of regular and reliable public transport bus services to and from the new Tweed Valley Hospital, from all over the Tweed Shire. 

The services from Pottsville and Murwillumbah to Kingscliff, every 60 minutes and two to three services a day respectively, need to be reassessed. They do not support our community to easily access this new health service without making a whole day of an appointment. I am also committed to reviewing the creation of linking public transport services from Crabbes Creek and Carool, as people that live in these communities have to rely on private transport to access public health services. 

I am also committed to advocating that the State Government supports Tweed Shire Council with the review and update of the Tweed Road Development Strategy. My understanding is that the last time that this strategy was reviewed was in 2017. Since that time, our community has grown, and we also need assurances from the State Government that they will support Council in making sure Kingscliff, Chinderah and Cudgen residential roads do not become thoroughfares.

Will you honour the commitment made at the last State Election to keep The Tweed Hospital open and operating as a hospital?

The Greens have consistently supported that Tweed Hospital remains open, and that the services available are expanded to support Tweed Heads and Banora Point, which are home to the two of the three oldest demographics in the Tweed electorate. I intend to honour this commitment.

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  1. I hope the Greens also support increased funding for TAFE. It is very important for individuals and for the nation. Second chance learning can be a pathway to higher education, and life changer for people whose lives have devolved into criminality.

    As a former high school and TAFE teacher, and as a lawyer, I have seen some excellent outcomes. Often young people (especially boys) are not developmentally ready when the Higher School Certificate comes and goes. Sometimes there is awful stuff happening in their lives while they are at school, and cannot focus or feel hopeless.

    I have seen school friends, family members and my students gain TAFE Certficates then Diplomas, and go on to gain University degrees in Education, Business Management and IT. As a Duty Solicitor I saw young people who would not get bail and would be in Grafton Jail. Some of them could not read and had a poor self image. They were surprised when I suggested that they enquire at Grafton about Basic Literacy and Numeracy courses. TAFE does not outright fail people if they want to resit an exam. The easier courses can be imbedded into Certificates and Diplomas. Also unlike School Reports an employer can see what skills a TAFE student has achieved as some are nationally accredited modules.

    All these years after Keating’s failed ANTA, which was supposed help national shortages of trades like die makers, we still have to import many things that could be made here (and better too). Let’s do something to improve world wide shortages of town planners, engineers, air traffic controllers and other occupations. Let small skills be the start of confidence and acquiring greater skills. If Australians were less mesmerised by Sport and gambling we could do great things.


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