$48m Tweed Hospital upgrade progresses
TWEED Hospital's medical staff council is satisfied the facility's upgrade is progressing after funding for the planning stage was handed down in the recent State Budget.
The hospital will share in $11.8million with three other facilities to be spent on planning and government approvals for the first stage of its upgrade.
It is expected the first stage will comprise an emergency ward, operating theatres and the cancer clinic wards, and will take a year to plan.
Medical staff chair Dr Ian McPhee said Tweed's clinicians would work with the Northern NSW Local Health District to progress the redevelopment.
Dr McPhee said they were encouraged by what they were hearing from all levels of government since the budget was handed down on Tuesday.
"Health infrastructure is very keen to work with us on moving the development further.
"While we might be waiting to see on how the planning money will be spent, it seems very obvious that no one is baulking at the idea and the project is full steam ahead from now."
The Tweed Daily News launched a campaign with the hospital's clinicians in December 2014 to secure funding for the redevelopment, the total cost of which will be more than $211m.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest pledged $48m during the NSW elections in March and that has been put into the estimates for the 2016-17 budget.
As with many major infrastructure developments, parts of the $48m are expected to appear in the budget as plans and approvals progress.
The total amount committed is likely to be spread across the next two to three budgets.
"I am proud the NSW Government has committed $48m to begin upgrading our hospital, with work to start during this term of government," Mr Provest said.
"I have joined with our hard-working hospital staff to campaign for a redevelopment and can't wait for planning to start so money can be allocated," he said.
"The redevelopment of our hospital is a core commitment from the Liberals and Nationals government and we will not let the community down."