Tweed candidate's hospital site challenge
STATE Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot has challenged Tweed MP Geoff Provest to a public debate on the State Government's decision to build the $534 million Tweed Valley Hospital on Cudgen farmland.
Members of the community have been divided over the selected site since it was first announced in April, with some concerned it could create a precedent and open the area up for development.
Mr Elliot says the selected site should be chosen by the community and not "the Nationals and their Sydney mates”.
"The location of the new Tweed Hospital should be determined by the community, not the Nationals and their Sydney mates who only want to open up Cudgen and Kingscliff to Gold Coast Style over-development,” Mr Elliot said.
Mr Provest has faced at least two public meetings since the announcement to answer questions from concerned residents about the impacts of the new development, including an independent forum hosted by the Tweed Daily News.
But Mr Elliot said the public had a right to have their grievances aired and believed a public debate would be the best platform.
"Mr Provest needs to find some courage and front up to a public debate,” he said.
"Locals know I will stand up and take decisive action to protect what matters to the people of Tweed, it's time Mr Provest came out of hiding and debated me on the location of the new Tweed hospital.
"There's a clear choice, the Nationals wants to impose an inappropriate high rise hospital at Cudgen near Kingscliff on protected agricultural land while Labor will save the farmlands and build the new hospital at shovel-ready Kings Forest better, faster and on budget.”
Claims the Kings Forest site is shovel ready come despite developer Leda Holdings confirming the site won't be shovel ready until March of next year.
Mr Elliot said the time and location of the debate would be determined between the two parties, but is demanding it be held in the Tweed.
Mr Provest has been contacted for comment.