The benefits of a hospital at your doorstep
MAYORS of cities that are home to three of Australia's newest hospitals have a message for Kingscliff residents - your area will get more than healthcare from NSW's $534 million investment.
A section of the Kingscliff community has forced the NSW Government to put the proposed half a billion Tweed Valley Hospital on hold to allow for more community consultation.
The delay was caused by an uproar from a section of the community, fearing a hospital on the proposed Cudgen site would create too much traffic congestion, compromise the area's building height restriction, use up valuable land and open the door for development on State Significant Agricultural Land.
The protests were backed by Tweed Shire councillors including Mayor Katie Milne, and by Richmond MP Justine Elliot.
But civic leaders from other regions say having a hospital built can only be beneficial.
Sunshine Coast Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer said a $1.8 billion hospital built at Kawana made his region better, not worse.
The project manager of that hospital, Peter Lawless, is also in charge of building the Tweed Valley Hospital.
Cr Dwyer said when the Sunshine Coast University Hospital was opened in March 2017, neighbouring property owners saw their homes increase in value.
"I haven't heard any complaints from people who live around the hospital," he said.
Asked about congestion, he said the hospital did not create any more traffic issues than what was already hitting the Sunshine Coast.
Both Tamworth Mayor Col Murray and Parkes Mayor Ken Keith said there were no congestion or town planing issues with their new hospitals.
Cr Murray opened the $250 million upgraded hospital in his city in March 2017.
He said Kingscliff residents could expect an investment in their area to be a catalyst for the regional economy.
"In Tamworth the health industry has been really strengthened and a lot of new health professionals have chosen to come to the region," he said.
Parkes opened its new $73 million hospital in November, 2015, and Cr Keith said specialists were coming to his city.
"We now have more visiting doctors from Orange coming to Parkes instead of everyone who is sick going to Orange, because we have two surgery operating theatres as good as you would find at St Vincents in Sydney," he said