They may be championing different political ideals but if there’s one thing all the 2019 Tamworth election candidates can agree on, it’s a new hospital for Gunnedah.
Jeff Bacon, Kevin Anderson, Stephen Mears, Mark Rodda, Emma Hall and Robin Gunning have all told the NVI they support the idea.
Independent candidate Mark Rodda said the level of health service in regional NSW should be no different than that of metropolitan areas.
“It’s wrong to just patch up and provide a lesser level of infrastructure just because we live in rural areas,” Mr Rodda said.
“I’m 100 per cent supportive of the people of Gunnedah receiving the new infrastructure they need, no matter what it is.”
Nationals’ candidate Kevin Anderson said a new hospital “would be fantastic”, and Labor candidate Stephen Mears said there was “no reason why Gunnedah shouldn’t get a new hospital”.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Jeff Bacon said things “had to change”.
“Health and support services is the number one problem across the electorate,” Mr Bacon said.
“The government should cease these stadium projects [in the city] and put [the funds] into resourcing regional NSW.”
Greens’ candidate Robin Gunning said not having a new hospital is a “health hazard”.
“It sounds like a good idea, because of the climate aspects,” she said.
“We’re going to have to provide more facilities and medical practitioners to deal with the heat.”
Animal Justice Party Emma Hall said she supported the idea, but nurse-to-patient ratios were the main problem.
“I don’t think a new hospital is ever a bad idea but, when we build it, we still have to have the staff,” Ms Hall said.
“Spending a lot of money on facilities when they’re unable to be used is pointless.
“The new hospital is great for patients but it’s still down to nurses working double shifts.”
A petition has been made in support of the new hospital, which SFF candidate Jeff Bacon and the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) are hoping locals will sign.
Mr Bacon said that once the petition reached 10,000 votes, it would be scheduled for discussion in Parliament House and announced by the speaker.
For those wanting to sign the petition, copies can be found at the following businesses, with more being added regularly:
- Gunnedah Library
- Gunnedah shire office
- Purse Gloves Menswear
- Hennessy Real Estate
- Barber Street Medical Centre
- Vision Splendid
- LJ Hooker
- Verdict Coffee
- Goodness & Gracious
- Gunnedah Florist
- Marvel Designs
- Ewing Real Estate
- Regency Jewellers
- Riley’s Furniture
- Gunnedah Newsagent
- Court House Hotel
- Gunnedah Services Club
- Willow & Fli
- Karen Carter Chemist
- Gunnedah Discount Chemist
- Kinfolk Cafe
- Gunnedah First National