Landscaping plans are underway for the grounds of the new Tumut hospital with landscaping architects from the company Site Image meeting with a working group at Coo-ee Cottage to discuss designs, planting and screening issues relating to the redevelopment.
Areas which will be landscaped include the main entry courtyard, cultural courtyard, the Indigenous ceremony space, the rehabilitation courtyard, the patient area off patient lounge and external to the quiet room/facility room, staff specific areas and screening services on Lambie Street.
A variety of materials such as re-used hospital bricks and local stone are also being proposed within the landscape areas. The group is also looking to incorporate a number of native and Indigenous significant plantings in the landscape designs such as Tumut Wattles, Grevillas and Kurrajong trees, though member of the working group Louise Halsey said that those were yet to be decided.
“We are looking at as many Indigenous plants as possible, as well as those that are native to the area but these ideas are still very much in the draft stage,” Ms Halsey said.
“European history is also being recognised and there will be a real liaison of cultures within these plans.
“At the moment, we are considering a significant cultural space and the landscape designers are very receptive to the community’s input. This would be a huge benefit for patients and staff and a very health space.”
The landscape working group was formed earlier this year and comprises representatives of the local Aboriginal community, hospital auxiliary and staff and neighbours. So far they have had three meetings at Coo-ee Cottage with many more to come as the redevelopment continues.
Ms Halsey said the group had a healthy relationship with MLHD and she praised them for their work and continual support.
“I think this is one of the best working groups that I’ve been involved with,” Ms Halsey said. “It’s a very well run and thoughtful group of people.”
In addition to progress being made on landscaping for the hospital, the $50 million dollar redevelopment is set to provide facilities to support both day surgery procedures as well as surgeries requiring admission into an Inpatient Unit.
The project includes one operating theatre, and an expanded number of recovery spaces. As part of the Redevelopment, the recovery bays will be co-located within the operating suite. These extra recovery spaces and the improved design will support additional capacity for day surgeries.
The Inpatient Unit is expected to be flexible in design and support a number of different patient cohorts, including patients who require medical, surgical, palliative, maternity and rehabilitation care.
Patients requiring further emergency or specialist treatment will be referred to the most appropriate facility for further care.
Tenders for the main construction work of the project closed at the end of October and a statutory planning approval is currently ongoing.