The concept plans for the controversial $582 million Tweed Valley Hospital have been revealed as the NSW Government pushes ahead with the new facility.
The Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, told MyGC today represents a significant milestone in the planning for the Hospital.
“The design team has come up with a vision for the site which fits in beautifully with the landscape and the environment and preserves the wetlands for future generations,” Mr Provest said.
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The design encompasses the local surrounds with plenty of green space around the actually facility.
“It’s important the hospital actually fits in to the local community too and it’s not like a city-based hospital and I’m very excited indeed to see that.
“The site is around 18 hectares and this new hospital takes up seven so we have room to expand in another 10-50 years as the population grows.”
The new hospital will also have radiation treatment which is a first for the Tweed region, helping the 2,500 locals who usually have to travel afar for treatment.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the new facility, with a number of local residents expressing their concerns about it being built on farm land in Cudgen.
A number of protests have been held at the site, primarily due to concerns about over-development in the coastal town.
Mr Provest is hopeful today’s announcement will sway some people back on side.
“One of their major objections was that it was going to look out of place and it was going to look like a concrete block building and that’s not the case,” he said.
“But I do acknowledge there are some people still concerned about it and whether this can sway them or not, they’re probably best left up to their own devices with that.
NSW Labor have vowed not to go ahead with the facility on that particular site if they win government at the next election.
Mr Provest said that will only push back the vitally needed services.
“We’re on track to have this hospital completed by the end of 2022 and operational in 2023. Labor has already come out and said they’re not going to have theirs done by 2025,” he said.
“My chief concern is that if you move it you’ll probably tear up around $100 million and that’s got to come out of the budget. So Labor should really come clean and indicate what services they are going to take away from the Tweed that we are currently building and going to provide.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said Labor neglected the area when it was in government.
“Communities in regional NSW want the best health facilities wherever possible. The Liberals & Nationals are investing $582 million in the Tweed, and across the North Coast more than $280 million is being spent on improving health facilities at Lismore, Bonalbo and Pottsville,” Mr Hazzard said.
“The government is managing the economy efficiently and producing strong budget surpluses and that provides the funding for new hospitals as well as upgrades and rebuilds.”
Natural building materials to complement the surrounding area will also be considered as part of the next stage.
The internal layout of each service within the new hospital will be the focus of the next stage in the planning process.