On 21 July 2014 the NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner, accompanied by Ballina MP Don Page, Northern NSW LHD representatives and community members, inspected the site for the new Byron Central Hospital, costed at more than $80 million.
The current State Budget commits $1.5 million to begin construction of the project, with ground works at the Ewingsdale site expected to commence soon.
Plans for the facility are on display until Friday 19 September at Byron Shire Council and through the Department of Planning and Infrastructure website.
"It is anticipated the new Byron Central Hospital will provide emergency services, acute medical beds, low-risk maternity services following the same model currently delivered at Mullumbimby, a new 20-bed mental health unit and X-ray and medical imaging facilities,” the Minister said.
“It’s wonderful to be able to visit the site of the new hospital to demonstrate the NSW Government’s support for this long-awaited project, which will modernise the delivery of health care to this region.
Mr Page added, “The community has never given up on its dream of a new hospital for this area and I’ve been steadfast in my support to ensure a new hospital for Byron has been on the government’s agenda.
“The new hospital will have the capacity to care for our community for years to come. It will provide state-of-the-art equipment and attract more clinicians, which is good news for local residents.
“The Byron Central Hospital will also be collocated with the new ambulance station which has been providing fantastic care for the community since it opened in 2012.”
Minister Skinner also toured Ballina Hospital, which sees more than 9,000 patients annually, with Mr Page and the Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan. (Mr Hogan’s seat is named after Don Page’s grandfather, Sir Earle Page, a former Australian Prime Minister).
“I acknowledge the Federal Government’s investment of $4.5 million to upgrade Ballina Hospital and appreciate their commitment to redevelop this facility,” Mrs Skinner said.
“I’m pleased to see investment in Ballina Hospital which has been providing first-class care to its community for decades. As a result of Federal Government funding staff will soon be able to deliver this care in a first-class facility.”