DIGGING DEEP:  Hayley Paddon (centre) is confident of gathering 10,000 signatures so the hospital site issue can be heard in Parliament.
DIGGING DEEP: Hayley Paddon (centre) is confident of gathering 10,000 signatures so the hospital site issue can be heard in Parliament. Scott Powick

Hospital site petition is gaining traction

RELOCATE Tweed Valley Hospital members are confident of gaining the 10,000 signatures required to have their plight heard in Parliament.

Cudgen farmer Hayley Paddon said more than 100 members were collecting signatures in a bid to have the selected hospital site moved from State Significant Farmland.

"We only started two weeks ago and probably have around 2000 signatures already,” she said.

"I went around Banora Point last week and spoke to 101 people and got 100 signatures, so I actually think we'll get over.”

Mrs Paddon said the Relocate team had received a "positive” response from the community with several businesses in Kingscliff, Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads taking on the petition.

The Relocate team hopes a completed petition will be heard by the NSW Legislative Assembly and see politicians rule out "building a hospital on any protected State Significant Farmland on the Cudgen plateau.”

Cudgen farmer Hayley Paddon, pictured with supporters George Kettle, James Paddon, Ellie Paddon, Glenda Litzow and Beth Staunton.
Cudgen farmer Hayley Paddon, pictured with supporters George Kettle, James Paddon, Ellie Paddon, Glenda Litzow and Beth Staunton. Scott Powick

Mrs Paddon said she believed receiving 10,000 signatures would help decide the next state election and see the hospital built at Kings Forest under a Labor government.

"It will all come down to the election, they haven't even rezoned it yet or bought the land, I can't see them turning anything over before December,” Mrs Paddon said.

But Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the hospital would "be well under construction before the next election”.

"A 10,000 signature petition is debated in Parliament, but no vote is taken and it's not binding,” Mr Provest said.

"I'm confident as well as I can be for the next election, we need a new hospital and need it in the next four years, even if Labor gets in, the hospital will be under construction.”



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