Council calls for transparency on Tweed Valley Hospital
TWEED Mayor Katie Milne is demanding the NSW Government provide further evidence to support its decision to build the Tweed Valley Hospital on State Significant Farmland at Cudgen.
During Tweed Shire Council's meeting tonight, councillors supported by four votes to three Cr Milne's push for better transparency of the site selection process.
Council had previously rejected the Cudgen site opposite the TAFE NSW building on Cudgen Rd when the State Government made its original announcement in April.
In a late Mayoral Minute, Cr Milne, who has publicly called for the new hospital to remain on its current site in Tweed Heads, said she believed residents deserved the right to better understand the criteria for selecting the Cudgen site.
Cr Milne said she believed there had been no previous indication in any planning documents that required a new hospital to be built south of the river and called for the government to release the full criteria document.
"I don't think there's anything that has changed from the original decision that has swayed my mind," she said.
"The problem that I see is that there really has been a terrible process with the original decision. Through all this time in planning we are not being provided the services plans. They must have been able to know what would be the leftover remnants at Tweed Heads.
"It's been kept secret from everyone and either tells me that they're not telling people what they know or it's a lack of planning."
Cr Milne said she wanted to see further evidence of the social and economic impacts of the Cudgen site plus the full environmental and infrastructure studies used to assess the sites.
But Councillor Warren Polglase said it was "a waste of time arguing" over what selection criteria was used as it wouldn't make a difference in changing the location of the hospital.
"This council is being used as a political wedge to delay, delay, delay until the election," Cr Polglase said.
"It's quite disturbing to be involved in a council that's going to take a position on a decision that's been taken by the State Government.
"The organisation engaged to do this process was given a certain criteria to do this."
Cr Chris Cherry, who supported the Mayoral Minute, said it was important to ask for the suggested documents to further understand the site selection decision.
"I don't think that the process has been credible at all," she said. "I think these are worthy questions to ask."