Greens raise hospital concerns in Parliament
GREENS MP Dawn Walker has criticised the State Government in Parliament for failing to build the $534 million Tweed Valley Hospital on the existing site at Tweed Heads.
"The Government's own North Coast Regional Plan identifies the growth precinct for the region's health services at the current Tweed Hospital site, yet they continue to ignore their own strategy and build the new hospital on the precious red soils of Cudgen Plateau" Ms Walker said.
"In March 2017, less than three months before the announcement of the new hospital, there was no mention of the new development in the region's Local Health District board meeting.
"The minutes note that they were awaiting formal confirmation of fully funding the redevelopment of the existing Tweed Heads Hospital. It's clear that something has gone astray.
"The Greens have moved a motion calling on the NSW Government to redevelop the existing Tweed Heads Hospital at Tweed Heads, which is close to the regional population centre and will not needlessly destroy state-significant farmland.
"However, the Minister for Primary Industries has confirmed in Parliament that the Government are ploughing ahead with site acquisition and the planning application process for a new Hospital at Cudgen, despite acknowledging that it's categorised as State Significant Farmland under the Northern Rivers Farmland Protection Project 2005."
Ms Walker said it was "appalling that the National Party have sold-out local farmers with their plans to concrete over the fertile farmland on the Cudgen Plateau and push for intense development on our food producing land."
Tweed MP Geoff Provest has previously said negotiations with the owner of the Cudgen site are in their final stages and have been "positive".
According to a site selection summary report released by Health Infrastructure in July, the option to upgrade the existing Tweed hospital was rejected due to inadequate space, flooding issues and the need to build "critical hospital infrastructure" above the Possible Maximum Flood level.
"The additional costs involved with the overall solution for this site would significantly impact on the budget available to build clinical space," the report stated.
"The resulting impact on clinical services would be unacceptable."