NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Tweed MP Geoff Provest.

Berejiklian backlash

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian made a largely unannounced flying visit to the Tweed on Saturday, where she announced a $700,000 upgrade to the Pacific Highway in Chinderah.

According to Tweed MP Geoff Provest, the new upgrade will install a wire rope barrier on a 3km strip of the highway to reduce the likelihood of head-on crashes.

Ms Berejiklian also toured the Tweed Hospital and cut the ribbon at Mr Provest's new campaign office in Kingscliff.

But the secrecy of Ms Berejiklian's visit and her alleged lack of interaction with residents opposed to the controversial Tweed Valley Hospital site was widely panned on social media.

Media organisations were also snubbed and not notified of the fly-in prior to the visit.

Relocate Tweed Valley Hospital leader Hayley Paddon told the Tweed Daily News she attempted to present the Premier with a 9000-signature petition opposing the site selection.

 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Tweed MP Geoff Provest.

Mrs Paddon said the Premier had "no intention" of speaking with her.

"Gladys has snubbed myself and again another NSW community and is not interested at all in listening or hearing any of the concerns that I wished to raise on behalf of the community about the chosen hospital site," she said.

Mrs Paddon said it was disappointing that "as taxpayers we have no right to talk and ask questions or challenge this decision".

It is understood security and police intervened as Mrs Paddon attempted to speak with Ms Berejiklian.

State Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot said Ms Berejiklian "used every trick possible to hide from Kingscliff residents".

"Clearly, Ms Berejiklian isn't interested in local views or concerns and this was on full display when she was in Kingscliff on Saturday," Mr Elliot said.

"Ms Berejiklian and MP Geoff Provest have got all the wrong priorities."

But Ms Berejiklian could not escape questions on the Tweed Valley Hospital when she visited Ballina on Sunday.

Speaking to NBN News, Ms Berejiklian said: "We rely on the experts to advise us on the best locations."

"We've actually done the right thing by getting independent expert advice and now we're getting on with the job and building it."

"That's what people want."

Mr Provest told the Tweed Daily News that accusations the Premier was hiding were untrue and she had spoken "with some constituents who raised concerns over the current hospital".

"The Premier was happy to take feedback on board and also correct a number of false rumours that have been circulated," Mr Provest said.

"The Premier also took time to tour the existing hospital and meet with Doctors, Nurses and volunteers to get their views on the new Tweed Valley Hospital project.

"It was abundantly evident from the Premier's discussions that the health professionals reject Labor's planned delays of at least two years and want the government to get on with the job of building the new hospital."



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