Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Looking to the Future

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Looking to the Future

Article excerpt

WITH the Festive Season almost over, it is time to reflect on the events of the year 2017.

We should never forget that the largest part of the Tweed experienced the biggest flood in living memory. Surpassing the former biggest of 1954, this flood caused enormous material damage and heart-breaking losses to those worst affected. The only good thing such a cruel disaster can teach us is that we humans must learn to take all necessary steps we can to avoid such crushing losses again of our most valued possessions by understanding that there will be even bigger ones to come.

In recent months, we have learned that the NSW Government has announced it has allocated more than $500 million for the construction of a new hospital somewhere between Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah. What a wonderful Christmas present.

With the knowledge of flooding that the Tweed Shire Council has amassed over many years following the 1954 and 1956 floods, logically this new hospital must be built on a site that is above the maximum probable flood. With the benefit of hindsight, it is now obvious that the site chosen for the Tweed Heads hospital was far too small and did not allow for the explosion of population that occurred since it was opened in 1973; it is susceptible to flooding of greater than a 1 in 100 year event (it is much below the maximum probable flood level) and it has totally inadequate parking available for visitors, staff, doctors and patients.

It is logical to expect that the site for this very expensive new utility will be on an expansive site that will be above the maximum probable flood level; provide for future expansion as Tweed Shire population continues to grow; allow for the provision for other allied facilities such as an ambulance station, police station; state emergency service; a helicopter pad and also a fire station.

And it should not be sited within an area zoned for future urban expansion.

I have personally taken a keen interest in this major project and have submitted to the company which has been engaged to carry out the wide-ranging exercise of due diligence required to identify this important site. …

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