Tweed MP Geoff Provest has slammed Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot for attempting to delay the new Tweed Valley Hospital.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest has slammed Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot for attempting to delay the new Tweed Valley Hospital. Scott Davis

MP denies using funds for husband's election campaign

UPDATE, 7.30pm: FEDERAL Richmond MP Justine Elliot has denied allegations she used Commonwealth funds in her husband's election campaign. 

Earlier, Tweed MP Geoff Provest said he would ask for a full investigation into Mrs Elliot and her use of funding to help husband and State Labor candidate for Tweed, Craig Elliot.

But Mrs Elliot told the Tweed Daily News she "won't be bullied and mansplained by Geoff Provest and his shonky National Party mates".

"True to form, Geoff Provest resorts to lies and smears instead of addressing the issues that are important to locals," she said.

"Rather than personally attacking me, he should be acting to fix his hospital debacle at Cudgen.

"I stand with our community in fighting to save our state significant Cudgen farmlands while building a better, faster and on budget hospital at Kings Forest.  

"The Kings Forest site is shovel ready with all the necessary approvals, whereas the Cudgen farmland site involves a compulsory acquisition process and zoning changes."  

Mrs Elliot said she would "not be silenced" and all of her funding had been used in accordance with the law.  

"My printing and communications expenditure is legal and within the proper use as defined by the Act and the rules of Government," she said.


EARLIER: TWEED MP Geoff Provest says he will ask for a full investigation into Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot for "disregarding state planning processes in order to assist with her husband's state election campaign."

In a statement released today, Mr Provest said Mrs Elliot had shown "blatant disregard for the law" and called for her to be referred to the Commonwealth Ombudsman for investigation.

The comments come after Mrs Elliot released a statement earlier this morning claiming the Tweed Valley Hospital site selection process could have breached the Commonwealth's Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act.

"Mrs Elliot has today shown complete contempt for proper processes when it comes to developments, which begs the question why?" Mr Provest said.

Member for Richmond Justine Elliot
Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot. Scott Powick

"Never in my time have I seen someone so adamant to avoid proper planning processes including circumnavigating Health Infrastructure and NSW planning legislation.

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

"The people of the Tweed are crying out for a new hospital and yet they are constantly faced with the blatant lies from the Labor party who will stop at nothing to delay the project."

Mr Provest said Labor had a hidden agenda in delaying the building of the new hospital and "would not rest until they have moved the development to land owned by a major Labor Party donor".

He was also critical of Mrs Elliot's advertising campaign on behalf of the NSW Labor party and her husband.

Craig Elliot has declared he will run for Labor in the NSW seat of Tweed at the upcoming election in March 2019.
State Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot. Contributed

"Using Commonwealth funds to campaign for her husband would be a serious breach of government policy and many concerns have been raised with my office regarding this, which is why I am asking for the Commonwealth Ombudsman to conduct a full investigation," Mr Provest said.

Mrs Elliot has been contacted for comment.