NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley today returned to the North Coast to re-affirm NSW Labor’s plan to build the $534 million Tweed Valley Hospital at Kings Forest rather than on sensitive agricultural farmland at Cudgen.
In a major statement on the new Tweed Valley Hospital, NSW Labor leader Michael Daley:
· Rejected claims by NSW Health bureaucrats and the National Party that the project will be delayed by moving to the Kings Forest site, saying an incoming Labor Government would “haul in the bureaucrats to begin work immediately” with a guarantee that it would be completed on-time and on budget;
· Pledged to retain the old Tweed Hospital site and the Cudgen site in public hands – never selling either site to property developers; and
· Committed that there would be no privatisation of health and hospital services in the Northern NSW Local Health District – after the Liberals-Nationals failed attempt to privatise five regional hospitals.
Mr Daley was joined today by Country Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot to recommit to Labor’s plans for the new Tweed Hospital.
NSW Labor reiterated the State election will be a referendum on the location of the Tweed Hospital.
Mr Daley said that people across regional NSW were up in arms about the Berejiklian Government’s $2.2 billion to Sydney stadiums instead of properly funding schools and hospitals across NSW.
Mr Elliot reaffirmed NSW Labor’s opposition to the National’s plans to build the Tweed Hospital on Cudgen farmland and condemned the National Party’s botched site selection process.
Mr Daley expressed concern that the National Party had chosen the Cudgen farmland site as a “Trojan horse” to overturn height limits in Kingscliff and to open the door for over-development – destroying the unique quality of life.
Reports earlier this month revealed that a Queensland property developer which had made donations to the Liberal-National Party recently purchased farm land next to the Nationals proposed hospital site.
Retaining the sites in public hands will require additional funds but NSW Labor is committed to protecting Cudgen farmland and not selling off Government land to developers for a quick buck like the Nationals will.
NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley said that Labor will always prioritise protecting farmland and the community ahead of developers.
“My commitment is ironclad – Labor will build the hospital in Kings Forest and protect the current hospital from being handed over to developers,” he said.
“NSW Labor will build the hospital on time and on budget – but the Nationals and NSW Health will continue to pedal their mis-information”
Country Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot expressed concern that the Nationals were using the hospital location as a Trojan horse for developers to take-over state significant farmland.
“Whether it be high rise in Kingscliff or a nine-storey hospital on Cudgen farmland – Geoff Provest and the Nationals are failing to protect the Tweed from inappropriate developments,” Mr Elliot said.
“The March 2019 election will be a referendum on the location of a new Tweed Hospital. My commitment is to build the Tweed Hospital at Kings Forest but that should not be at the expense of residents living north of the river.
“Labor’s commitment is to keep the current Tweed hospital site in public hands and in doing so continue to deliver future health outcomes from that location.”