'It's land of paramount importance to our future'
FORMER Tweed mayor Max Boyd has slammed the State Government for ignoring its own future proofing and deciding to build a hospital on prime agricultural land at the Cudgen Plateau.
The State Government made the highly anticipated announcement on Wednesday.
Mr Boyd, who served as mayor on the Tweed Council from 1964-2005, said he spent several years identifying land in the Tweed shire that should be "retained forever as land of state significance”.
He said the announcement that the new hospital would be located on the Cudgen Plateau had left him "devastated”.
"I was part of a group which made recommendations to the State Government and it was accepted and adopted and I heaved a great sigh of relief and thought we'd done what was needed to protect this extraordinary land, which produces so much of the wonderful produce that comes out of this place,” he said.
"The worst thing that could happen has happened, the state has disregarded their own forward planning and it's a great sadness to me.”
Mr Boyd said the land was "probably the best land in the country” and could "produce any crop that you can mention”.
"It's of paramount importance to our future,” he said.
Mr Boyd said he feared the announcement would open the floodgates to other developers who had been biding their time in wait.
"You only have to look at Redland Bay area across the border to see the agricultural land there covered in houses, and they're not making any more of that land, once it's gone it's gone forever,” he said.
"To me this will open the floodgates for other speculators who have bought land in that area and are just waiting for the opportunity to put pressure on the State Government and get what they want, subdivide it and put houses on that land.”
Mr Boyd said he believed the hard work to protect the land had gone to waste and the State Government had "taken the easy option”.
"Why do we go to all this trouble to identify the things that are import in life if we don't follow through and take notice?” he said.