Tweed MP Geoff Provest has dismissed a debate challenge by State Labor candidate Craig Elliot.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest has dismissed a debate challenge by State Labor candidate Craig Elliot. Scott Davis

Tweed MP dismisses hospital debate 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 needs to find some courage and front up to a public debate.”

Mr Elliot said the time and location of the debate would be determined between the two parties, but said it should be held in the Tweed.

But Mr Provest hit back, saying "it's time the Labor Party quit playing politics with the new hospital”.

"The location of the new hospital was determined by extensive public consultation and by experts at NSW Health Infrastructure,” Mr Provest said.

"I have also already attended a number of public forums about the development.

"If the Labor Party have made a promise to a developer mate that they can't fulfil, that's their problem, not ours.”

Meanwhile, Richmond MP Justine Elliot is urging the community to attend a peaceful protest against the Cudgen hospital site at 10am on Friday.

"Send Geoff Provest a message about his unfair plans to impose a hospital on our protected farmland,” she said.