Health hub tour
Tuesday, 7th February, 2017
By Daniel Stringer
A crowd gathered at the Broken Hill Health Service yesterday to witness a 3D ‘fly through’ of the new community health centre which is to be built in Crystal Street.
The video animation gave a three dimensional impression of what the new centre will look like, both from the outside and inside. The project is part of the new $30 million health service redevelopment, which was announced in October last year.
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, Leslie Williams, was on hand to officially launch the presentation. Mrs Williams was a last-minute replacement for former NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner, and she says that it is an exciting time for the health sector in the region.
“Obviously it is a very exciting time for the community and as a frontline health worker I certainly recognise the importance of having a great working environment,” Mrs Williams said.
“What we have seen here today with the launch of the fly-through is the opportunity to visualise what the new centre is going to look like once work gets underway later in the year,” she said.
As for the progress of the redevelopment, the fly-through indicates that things are progressing according to the original time frame.
Chief Executive of the Far West Local Health District, Stuart Riley, said that construction should be underway within the next six months.
“The detailed planning is well underway at the moment and we are expecting final documentation to be approved and signed off within the next two months,” Mr Riley said.
“That would see us hopefully going to tender in May or June and construction starting shortly after.”
The redevelopment was first announced by the state government in 2015, with Jillian Skinner making the trip to Broken Hill last year to unveil the design plans.
The main feature of the redevelopment is the two-storey Community Health Centre, which will also house the administration staff.
The new project is set to be located next door to the Musicians’ Club and Mr Riley said that most of the land had already been acquired.
“The main block of land has been purchased, so that was just a transfer between government departments.
“We are also having conversations with the Philharmonic Society around acquiring that building for the project.
“I think negotiations have progressed pretty rapidly and conversations are moving along quite smoothly.”
All in all the redevelopment is set to improve the standard of health care offered in Broken Hill, something which Mrs Williams said was at the top of the state government’s list.
“I think what we are seeing here today is the excellent level of health services already available in Broken Hill being expanded, both through the Community Health Service and through hospital expansion.
“I understand the challenges people in the area face when it comes to health and we are very committed as a NSW government to giving people the health services they deserve no matter what their postcode.”
The Development Application for the project is awaiting City Council approval, after which time the health service will invite tenders.