Pieces of a puz­zle

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS OPINION - — War­ren Kirch­ner, Banora Point

THIS let­ter is not a cyn­i­cal assess­ment, it is to awaken peo­ple of Tweed to look at the big­ger pic­ture, par­tic­u­larly when these is­sues have such a big im­pact on our lives.

The spe­cific pieces re­ferred to are from pub­lished ar­ti­cles in Tweed

Daily News. It is easy to think and act on one piece of the puz­zle as if that held the fi­nal pic­ture.

The Daily, over many months, pub­lished ar­ti­cles re­lated to the Cud­gen hos­pi­tal saga as if pieces in a jig­saw puz­zle that we need to see – how they may all fit to­gether in or­der to re­veal a com­plete pic­ture – an end re­sult. Here’s a rec­ol­lec­tion of these pieces but don’t hold me to the ex­act num­bers.

The land was pur­chased by two gen­tle­men for around $2m who en­gaged a con­trac­tor to grow crops.

This land was of­fered to the NSW Gov­ern­ment for around $33m with fi­nal pur­chase price set be­hind closed doors and so far not for pub­lic con­sump­tion. So much for trans­parency.

Pre­vi­ous own­ers of land next door, used for plant nurs­ery and hot­house pro­duc­tion, sold well be­fore the hos­pi­tal site was cho­sen. Did the own­ers be­lieve the ru­mour I have heard from a num­ber of sources that pre­or­dained the hos­pi­tal would be go­ing in next door, years be­fore the site was of­fi­cially cho­sen?

The news­pa­per re­ported on con­flict be­tween two NSW Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments over the Cud­gen site se­lec­tion and the prece­dent risk of SSF land re­zon­ing re­quired for this site – that it would open op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­lated de­vel­op­ments.

It doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to then ask the prover­bial ques­tion of just who stands to gain from this Cud­gen site hos­pi­tal – and ask who are the own­ers of all the lands be­tween the M1 BP sta­tion and the ap­proved Leda petrol sta­tion de­vel­op­ment ad­ja­cent to Kings For­est along the east­ern side of Tweed Coast Road – and what are their po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions?

Of course we wel­come mod­ern, ef­fi­ciently-run health ser­vices and sup­port­ive in­fras­truc­ture, so Penny and the pro­tag­o­nists, please don’t use the Don­ald Trump like plays on hu­man fear and emo­tion with pro­jected dire out­comes for sick and in­firm cit­i­zens if this hos­pi­tal is not built at Cud­gen.

My fi­nal com­ment is this, given the im­por­tance of SSF zon­ing and pro­tec­tion, what con­trols are in place to pre­vent spec­u­la­tive in­vestors us­ing SSF zon­ings who are not com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing world class farm­ing pro­duc­tion on such high qual­ity fer­tile lands?

THE BIG PIC­TURE: There is much to con­sider when it comes to the new Tweed Val­ley Hos­pi­tal site at Cud­gen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.