Call to buy spare uni buildings

A COALITION state government would quickly look at opportunities to expand The Tweed Hospital into nearby Southern Cross University buildings which are to be vacated by 2013, says National Party MP for Tweed Geoff Provest.

The buildings could be used for radiation therapy services for the treatment of cancer and would be an ideal addition to a general medical precinct around the hospital, Mr Provest said yesterday.

He was responding to suggestions by Tweed Mayor Kevin Skinner and long-time former mayor Max Boyd that the university buildings adjacent to the Tweed Heads Civic Centre could be ideal for hospital expansion.

The university announced last week that it would vacate the buildings by the start of the 2013 academic year, moving operations to its new campus at Bilinga near the Gold Coast Airport. The announcement sparked speculation about the future use of the civic centre buildings.

Mr Provest said the buildings were ideal for medical services and planning was desperately needed for the future of The Tweed Hospital.

“Last year they treated over a thousand people in the corridor. Under the current state government there's been no planning for the future,” Mr Provest said.

“Kings Forest is about to be approved, Cobaki Lakes is going ahead and we are already running at 107% at The Tweed Hospital. Let's sit down and plan for the future.”

Mr Boyd said earlier this week the announcement that the buildings would be vacated gave the next NSW government and the Department of Health an “opportunity to take advantage of a building that is quite substantial”.

He said the council “wouldn't have the money” to buy them.

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