The concept design of the new $534m Tweed Valley Hospital.
The concept design of the new $534m Tweed Valley Hospital. Contributed

Cancer victims need Cudgen

THE NEED for the new Tweed Valley Hospital to be built has been described as life and death for the region's cancer patients.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Tweed resident Nerida Dean have both come out in support of the hospital's current location ahead of this month's state election.

Ms Dean, who has been part of a consultation group in relation to the Tweed Valley Hospital said cancer therapy was a huge priority for this new hospital.

She said because of the logistics of having radiation treatment facilities, the proposed site acquired by the Government was perfect.

"For those people who think you can build a hospital which is two-storeys high with car parking do not understand nuclear medicine bunkers and it needs to be explained to them that a bunker needs to be underground, and it needs to be well above the flood-line," she said.

"That is why we cannot build on to the Tweed hospital and I'm not personally sure the land put up for offer at Kings Forest meets that requirement."

Ms Dean said cancer patients had been drowned out of the discussion about the new hospital, stating they are more focused on carrying on with their day-to-day lives.

"As I have stated before, there are 5000 Tweed residents who have to travel either interstate or to Lismore in order to get radiation treatment," she said.

"There are a lot of people who can't access radiation when they need it because they just can't make the journey.

"We are not talking about a handful of people, we are talking about thousands of people affected by cancer."

When questioned about the impact the hospital would have on the community, Ms Dean said the hospital would provide young people in Kingscliff with more opportunities.

"Suddenly we are taking a small piece of agricultural land - which provided income for one and a half people some of the time - and we are now going to have a facility which overtime employ 2000 people," she said.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest amplified his push for the current site to remain, stating Cudgen was the right location and the need for the hospital to be constructed soon was important.

"Peoples' lives are going to be at risk unless we achieve our four year time deadline," Mr Provest said.

"If you moved it, it would take at least another two years to get to the point we are at now - that doesn't take into time delays."