Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne.
Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne. Scott Powick

Mayor slammed over Cudgen comments

THE Tweed Valley Hospital Community Group has slammed Tweed Shire Mayor Katie Milne for continuing to divide the community over the site of the new Tweed Valley Hospital despite the NSW election confirming it would remain at Cudgen.

Spokesperson Penny Hockings said the group was disappointed the Mayor remained defiant over the location of the $534 million facility.

"The people have spoken and as an elected representative of our community, Councillor Milne needs to accept the wishes of the silent majority and move forward, not look backwards,” Ms Hockings said.

"Her refusal to accept the election outcome and continued bold claims serve only to continue dividing the community. The complete opposite of what our councillors are charged with the responsibility to do.”

Last week, Cr Milne said the project's development application had still not been approved and did not meet planning requirements.

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

The Greens Mayor also claimed the expansion of the existing Tweed Heads Hospital was still an option, along with the Kings Forest location, despite the latter being a major issue for animal and koala activists.

Ms Hockings said Cr Milne's comments showed she lacked understanding of planning processes as approvals were already in place for rezoning the site, preliminary works and the purchase of the site

"Discussion about alternate sites is now obsolete. The 'referendum on the hospital', which Labor and the Greens insisted it was, is over. They lost. They need to graciously accept the outcome and come together with the community to look at the now, and to the future to ensure we get the best possible health outcomes,” Ms Hockings said.

"Democracy has been heard and we call on the Mayor and her opposing councillors to accept the outcome and get on with representing the community as a whole, as they are elected to do. Let's get on with building our Tweed Valley Hospital.”

Ms Hockings suggested councillors opposing the development should rethink their role of representing the people.

"If they are unable to accept the outcome then they need to consider if their tenure as local councillors is viable. They are elected to serve the Tweed Shire community as a whole, not minority groups or self-interest views,” she said.

Mayor Milne has been contacted for comment.