Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has welcomed the increase of planning activity for the Tweed Valley Hospital, ahead of lodgement of the project’s first planning approval documents.

“A new hospital for our region with an investment of more than half a billion dollars is the largest single infrastructure investment currently underway in regional NSW,” Mr Provest said. “The result will be a strengthening of health services for the region, making life easier for patients and providing staff with a state-of-the-art facility to deliver world-class health and wellbeing outcomes to people of the Tweed-Byron region. The existing Tweed Hospital site is not large enough to provide the additional services needed to support the growing and ageing population in the area. This is why the NSW Government is investing $582 million to build a new hospital on a larger site that is central to the region, as well as interim upgrade works at the existing hospital to ensure we can continue to meet the increasing demand for health services until we transition to the new hospital.”

Detailed planning studies have been underway on the site opposite Kingscliff TAFE, including geotechnical, archaeological and Aboriginal heritage; ecological and agricultural assessment and acoustic monitoring.

“The project team has informed me that investigations carried out on the site this month have included around 20 boreholes to a depth of between three and 20 metres, testing the physical properties beneath what will become the foundation for the new hospital buildings, driveways and car parking,” Mr Provest said. “It’s important work that marks an exciting step on the path to delivering this transformational upgrade to health services for the Tweed-Byron region. This ramp-up in planning activity comes ahead of the team lodging the request for Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) with the NSW Department of Planning & Environment, which is the next step in progressing planning approvals for the hospital.”

The Tweed Valley Hospital will include additional inpatient capacity, an expanded emergency department and enhanced surgical and outpatient services, as well as the introduction of new cancer and cardiology services that are not available at the current hospital. This means more people will be able to receive the healthcare they need, closer to home, without having to travel interstate.

The project team will continue to consult with the community, staff, health consumers and other stakeholders throughout the planning, design and construction of the Tweed Valley Hospital. Site works will commence once planning processes are completed, with the target of beginning early and enabling works by the end of 2018 and having the new hospital completed in 2022 and open in 2023.

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