MPs Justine Elliot and Walt Secord.
MPs Justine Elliot and Walt Secord. John Gass /TWE170413csg

Tweed MP rejects ALP ‘report card’

TWEED Police Station was the backdrop for a public lashing of Tweed MP Geoff Provest on Monday as Opposition North Coast MP Walt Secord visited the region.

Mr Secord travelled to the Tweed to deliver a “report card” on Mr Provest for “failing” to deliver on the $48 million upgrade of Tweed Hospital; a new Tweed police station on Wharf St; police numbers; the protection of Lot 490; provision of a Pottsville High School and a homeless centre for the Tweed.

Mr Secord, who is tasked by Labor with overseeing the North Coast’s affairs, delivered his report card after the Tweed Daily News produced its own review on Mr Provest and Lismore MP Thomas George last month.

Mr Secord said Tweed Byron LAC police numbers had dropped to a six-year low and the Tweed Hospital had the “longest wait for elective surgery and one of the busiest emergency departments in the state”.

“(In) elective surgery, it also has some of the longest waiting periods in the state – tonsillectomy (346 days); ear, nose and throat surgery (215 days); knee replacement (262 days) and orthopaedic surgery (124 days),” he said.

“It’s now been six months since the state election and it’s time we started holding Geoff to account.

“Mr Provest ... has allowed police numbers in the local area command to drop to a six-year low. Shamefully, there are actually fewer police officers than there were in 2009.”

But Mr Provest defended his record, saying the $48m promised for the hospital was delivered in the Budget, and he had met with Northern NSW Local Health District chair Brian Pezzutti and Tweed Medical Staff Council chair Ian McPhee on Thursday to continue the project.

Mr Provest said the tenders for the Tweed police station had closed and the NSW Government would award contracts soon.

He accused the Opposition of “falsifying” records in relation to police numbers.

“We promised a year ago an extra 90 or so (police officers) on the North Coast and there have been – 11 added to the Tweed Byron Local Area Command,” he said.

On Lot 490, Mr Provest said the last remaining coastal block at Kingscliff was “leased to developers by Labor under Walt Secord” and there was an Aboriginal land claim on the block.

He was still waiting for a report on enrolment figures for a future Pottsville school.

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