Federal MP Justine Elliot has been called out over misleading claims Kings Forest is “shovel ready” for a new hospital, raising questions about the tactics used by Mrs Elliot to assist her husband’s campaign for the 2019 State election.

NSW Nationals’ Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest said the latest claim is utterly false and adds to the list of misleading statements made by the Federal Member for Richmond, and echoed by the NSW Labor Party and her husband.

“There is no issue with healthy debate and everyone is entitled to an opinion, but to distort the facts about the state of the Kings Forest site is completely unacceptable,” Mr Provest said.

“I’m calling on Justine Elliot to immediately apologise over her claims Kings Forest   is a shovel ready site for an important new hospital for the Tweed.”

The Department of Planning is currently finalising its assessment of a revised Koala Plan of Management for Kings Forest. The proposal seeks to increase the amount of koala habitat to be removed from the site and change the koala offset and management obligations.

Over 2000 public submissions have been received by the Department of Planning objecting to the proposal, highlighting the site is far from shovel-ready.

The Department has asked the proponent to respond to the issues raised. Once the Department has finalised its assessment of the proposal, it will be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for determination. The Commission will hold a public before determining the proposal.

Mr Provest said it might interest Mrs Elliot to know that, in a bizarre twist, it is actually Kings Forest that would require further approval from the Commonwealth Environment Department under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in order to build a hospital, due to a mapped area of high koala activity adjacent to the site proposed.

“The frequency of the Labor Party’s misleading claims regarding development and planning processes is far from coincidental,” Mr Provest said.

“We are fully aware of the reasons why the Labor Party is pushing the Kings Forest site and frankly, this is why the NSW Labor Government was voted out in the first place.

“Labor has a clear agenda to delay construction of a new hospital for the Tweed, putting the interests of a major ALP donor ahead of those of local residents of the Tweed,” Mr Provest concluded.