Tweed Heads hospital to be retained for medical services
CAR parking at the new $534 million Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen will be free and on-site, while the existing Tweed Heads hospital will be kept in public hands for medical services.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest told the Tweed Daily News there was "too much misinformation” regarding the hospital project.
"It's not going to be paid parking there, I have not heard of any adjacent land being offered or sold, we are going to have free parking here and we're not closing the old hospital down,” Mr Provest said.
"We're not selling it, there will be some form of medical provision there but it's not the politicians who decide that, it's the doctors and clinicians and the staff providing it and I'm a great believer in their judgement and their call.”
Mr Provest's claims come after a series of unverified rumours across social media that parking would come at a hefty cost for hospital visitors, while bordering land would be bought for a car park.
The Tweed Heads Bowls Club this week moved to dismiss unfounded rumours it had offered its carpark to help expand the existing hospital.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who visited the hospital site on Tuesday, said he did not feel he was alienating National Party voters by building the hospital on state significant farmland.
"Each and every day we have to find the balance between the growth of our regions and investment in infrastructure,” he said.
"Country folk will always argue for property rights, here we had a willing seller of his land, we're not building high-rise apartments, we're not building the latest craze from developers, what we're actually building here is a hospital for today and the future to support a growing region.
"The difference between us and what the opposition have put on the table is, I trust my Health Infrastructure professionals, the experts, our public servants have gone through an extensive consultative process to find the right bit of land, unlike the opposition.
"That's the difference, I trust my Health Infrastructure officials.”
But state Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot said the NSW Government was "ignoring the views and concerns of Tweed locals”.
"Whether it's ignoring locals' concerns on over-development in the Tweed or neglecting local schools and hospitals, under the Nationals you don't count,” he said.
"Only Labor will keep the current Tweed Hospital in public hands for community and health services, and only Labor will save Cudgen and Kingscliff from Geoff Provest's disastrous over-development agenda.”