Floods pose a threat
MUCH has been said about the choice of the site for the planned Tweed Valley Hospital at Kingscliff.
Yes, I am unhappy with the loss of more farming land. After looking at the proposed alternative site at Kings Forest, I believe the Labor Party needs to do more homework to find a better alternative or the community will again be thrown into the vicious campaign that has divided us.
The Tweed Valley is, as its name suggests, a floodplain. Flooding has always been a problem, and always will be as no political party or council is serious in tackling this problem. I do not think council’s CEO had any idea about flooding until he lost half the trucks and equipment in the 2017 flood.
In the 1964 flood, many roads, including the highway were impassable. Unable to get to high school from Duranbah to Murwillumbah, I had to help out on the farm now known as Kings Forest. Many of the drains were blocked, including some of the stone-lined drains through the peat swamp and the low-lying sandy soils were a quagmire. Even in drier weather I witnessed a bulldozer sink below its tracks and had to be winched out of the bog.
However, maybe some drains have been improved since the pine forest was planted and harvested.
It worries me that building a hospital on Labor’s chosen site will require an enormous amount of fill and delays of settling the soil, like that of the Coast Road, Cudgen subdivision. Even if the developer donated this land, the cost of the required earthworks may not make this the most economical site.
When Kings Forest site was mooted, I instinctively thought of the Duranbah Ridge section, well out of flood reach. The Duranbah Road was often used by trucks and 4WDS as a flood bypass road when Tumbulgum was under water. I am aware however that massive upgrading of access roads would have to be undertaken to enable this to happen.
In the meantime, I have to say I am disgusted by the acts of vandalism that have occurred on the hospital site. Why are workers being targeted? They are not the cause of the problem, rather, just trying to earn a living, same as the farmers. — J.h.king,
NEW PLAN: Former State Labor leader Luke Foley meets with Cudgen farmers to back Kings Forest as the site of the new Tweed Valley Hospital.