Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest. Scott Davis

Tweed MP hits out at attempts to delay hospital

Tweed MP Geoff Provest has hit out at NSW Labor for attempting to delay the new $534 million Tweed Valley Hospital.

On Saturday, State Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot slammed Health Infrastructure's decision to build the new hospital on state significant farmland at Cudgen, calling for it to be delayed until the next election.

"The NSW election is on March 23, 2019, Geoff Provest and the Nationals must put this to the people before proceeding any further on the protected Cudgen farmlands," he said.

Mr Elliot called on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to attend a community meeting in the Tweed to "explain her government's decision".

"I seek a favourable response from the Premier so that she can hear directly from our community," he said. "When the Premier agrees to attend, then I'll arrange the time and location of a local town hall meeting."

Mr Elliot, whose party threw its support behind the Kings Forest site, said the Cudgen site was a "rotten decision by an out-of-touch government".

"No one has any faith in Geoff Provest, he has betrayed our community in selecting the Cudgen site over Kings Forest," he said.

"The NSW state election will be a referendum on the National Party's plan to overdevelop Kingscliff by imposing a mega-hospital on protected Cudgen farmland."

 

Craig Elliot has declared he will run for Labor in the NSW seat of Tweed at the upcoming election in March 2019.
State Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot. Contributed

But Tweed MP Geoff Provest said everyone he had spoken to over the weekend had said to "just get on" with building the hospital.

He said the hospital issue had been "hijacked for politicial purposes".

"Let's be clear on what is happening here, NSW Labor has announced they will build the hospital on a different site, contradicting the results of community feedback, and expert advice, which begs the question, why?" he said.

"I refuse to stand by and see this project hijacked for political purposes. The time for talk is done, let's get on with it and build the hospital our community needs and deserves."

"There are people in our community crying out for life-saving treatment that doesn't require them to travel to another state, yet the NSW Labor party think it's okay to play politics , it is disgraceful."

Mr Provest said Labor's plans to delay the hospital would not work as "there will be activity on the site before the end of the year".

"This hospital is desperately needed, we're not delaying it any further," he said.

"It's desperately needed and now you want to delay it by nine months, really? The people of the Tweed deserve better."

Mr Provest said there was no need for the NSW Premier to visit and explain the decision.

"Once the other three sites have been debriefed, we'll make that information freely available so I see no need for the premier to come. It has been dealt with by Health Infrastructure and endorsed by the Health Minister," he said.