It’s a start: Hospital gets $3.5m in budget

The government has allocated $3.5m in this year’s budget for the $50m rebuild of the Tumut Hospital.

The new $50m Tumut Hospital received a  kick-start in the state budget, $3.5 million set to get work underway in 2019-2020.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the project last August, promising work would get underway this year, and Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr was pleased to see the allocation announced this week in the state budget.

“An allocation of this size, for this kind of project, is a positive step going forward I think,” Dr McGirr said. “The government has said work will begin at the end of the year and this is something I will be monitoring moving forward.”

The budget papers have the full $50m allocation for the hospital redevelopment finishing in 2023, indicating a build-time of about four years.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District welcomed the budget’s confirmation of the $50 million commitment for the rebuild of Tumut Hospital.

“This is exciting news for the local community who will see work beginning on site by end of 2019, subject to approvals,” Chief Executive Jill Ludford said.

“Planning is well underway and the concept plans will be shown to the community in the coming months,” Ms Ludford said.

The project team have been progressing the plans in consultation with the local community including Indigenous stakeholders.

The masterplan was on display for community feedback from February to April this year.

The project aims to provide enhanced facilities and an increase in ambulatory care services to meet the future health needs the region.

The project will include:

• a new emergency department

• Inpatient beds including for rehabilitation and maternity

• Rehabilitation clinical support services

• Operating theatre complex and day surgery

• Quiet room for family caring for palliative care patients

• Ambulatory and outpatient services

• Support services including radiology, pharmacy and pathology

In addition to the health sector boosts, work is set to begin on the highly anticipated $1 million Adelong Police Station in coming months, with $817,000 set aside in the Treasurer’s budget.

Snowy Valleys Police Cluster Inspector Stephen Radford is unsurprisingly happy about this.

“It’s a good thing and we look forward to seeing it built and providing Adelong a great crime prevention and operational platform,” he said.

Tumut Regional Chamber of Commerce president Lorraine Wysman is pleased about the budget and what it means for the community.

“It seems that everybody got a bit out of the bucket,” she said.

“The news on the Tumut Hospital is incredibly positive. “There is so much growth happening that it is so important that we have a Level 3 hospital, because we can’t all go to Wagga Hospital.

“The gains for our area in the budget are the result of a lot of lobbying, a lot of hard work and we are grateful to the people who have worked so hard on our behalf. Anything that helps create a positive attitude and brings in money has us excited.”

The 2019/20 budget confirmed this commitment as part of the new works for Ministry of Health.

Valmar CEO Hugh Packard is pleased that the government is acknowledging the disability transport issue with $42 million for the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (part of $173 million over four years).

He believes that the budget is, overall, “not a bad one.”

“It won’t make any difference to Valmar itself, and we receive no funding from the state government, but many of our clients will benefit from the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme,” he said.

“They are establishing an Ageing and Disability Commissioner, although it is not clear what advocacy and information services will be provided.”

Snowy Valleys Mayor James Hayes is meeting with Deputy Premier John Barilaro today and wanted to withhold comment on the budget until after the meeting.