THE ALLOCATION of more than $5 million for the re-development of the Gunnedah Hospital represents a real 'commitment' from the coalition government according to Gunnedah Shire Council (GSC) mayor Jamie Chaffey.
Tuesday's state budget revealed the NSW government would continue to deliver the $53 million dollar 2019 election commitment, with $5.3 million going towards the project in the next financial year.
Cr Chaffey said with construction of the new hospital not expected to start until September 2023, this round of funding would likely go towards finalising a design for the state-of-the-art facility.
"This $5 million is a commitment from the coalition government to continue on with the work that will be required to make sure the hospital will be built and construction will stay on path," he said.
While Cr Chaffey said he expected the hospital to be completed before the state election in March next year when the re-development was promised in 2019, he said the ongoing commitment was "positive".
Cr Chaffey said the ongoing funding commitment would also need to be coupled with commitment to appropriate service levels for the community.
"The aspiration of our community is to have a new hospital that will serve our community today, but also importantly our community for the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years," he said.
"It's important that as design work completes, and construction starts, that we cannot lose any bits or services, and we've been promised that wouldn't be the case."
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the $5.3 million would also allow for community consultation to continue in the final design process.
"The new hospital will be a world class facility and I want to thank the community for continuing to provide important feedback on the redevelopment process," Mr Anderson said.
He also said measures had been taken to address staffing concerns.
"We have announced nearly $800 million towards a workforce recruitment strategy, in addition to that there will be accommodation at Gunnedah and Walcha Hospitals to allow those nurses to come to our area," he said.
"We're seeking bipartisan support for the project, that should the coalition not win the next state election, that the incoming government will pick up the project at whatever stage or phase it's at and commit to the funding required to deliver on the new hospital for our community," Cr Chaffey said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.