Floods pose a threat

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS OPINION -

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,

Cud­gen

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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.

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