BREAKING: 800 jobs in pipeline after project fast tracked
THE fast tracking of the Tweed Valley Hospital at Kingscliff will provide a welcome boost for the region's economy with the creation of around 800 jobs for the project.
In making the announcement today, the NSW Government also said an extra $90 million in funding would go towards the hospital.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the cash injection would provide for 499 beds and more operating theatres than was originally planned.
"This comes as a result of our relationship and ongoing discussions with the medical council," he told the Tweed Daily News.
"One of the highlights of the project is it will bring about 800 jobs in the construction.
"Another crucial part is also funding included to develop a training centre in conjunction with TAFE, as well as an operating theatre and ward to train future Tweed citizens in nursing and medical professions.
"This will bring us up to 2030 and beyond based on what is predicted in the future for the health needs of the Tweed.
"This is a big win for the Tweed."
Mr Provest said the project being fast tracked through the planning system would not mean corners were cut.
The Tweed Valley Hospital was one of 24 fast-tracked projects unveiled today come on top of 24 announced four weeks ago.
"This is enormous for our local town," he said.
"Times are tough and the more jobs generated to keep money flowing through the local economy, the better.
"It really struck home over coronavirus how desperately we need a first class medical system in the Tweed without ageing population."
Tweed Hospital Medical Staff Council co-chair Mike Lindley-Jones said the increased funding would repay the trust local voters had in the State Government before the project was approved.
He said the announcement of extra beds would provide the region with adequate health services for the Tweed's population.
"The original budget would have only bought 250 beds but the current hospital has 220," Dr Lindley-Jones said.
"From our point of view we knew the amount allocated was not sufficient to build the hospital we needed.
"The budget was increased by 20 per cent but it creates a 100 per cent increase in beds."
Mr Provest slammed Labor's Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park's call that the funding increase was a 'blow-out' saying they should "hang their head in shame".
"It is evolving as it goes along in terms of what we need and what we can provide which is why the funding has changed," he said.
"We are providing extra services, if that is bad then I'm not going to apologise for it."
In a media release, Mr Park said the "mismanaged" project's budget was blown out by an additional $139 million.
"That's $139 million that now that can't be spent on schools, roads and infrastructure in the Tweed," he said.
The project was initially projected to cost $534 million, before increasing last year to $582 million.
The current cost is expected to be $673 million.
"Our major priority at the moment is to get enough funding for the medical services," he said.
Originally published as BREAKING: 800 jobs in pipeline after project fast tracked