The NSW budget was passed on Tuesday night, here is what it means for Griffith.
What Griffith received in the budget
- Planning for staged development of Griffith Base Hospital
- $4.4 million RMS contribution to Yoogali intersection (previously announced)
- $925,000 to the Griffith southern heavy vehicle by-pass
- $25 million for the new Griffith High Schools Strategy
The push for a new hospital
Murray MP Adrian Piccoli was full of praise for the budget on Wednesday morning, saying the inclusion of the Griffith Base Hospital in the sites to undergo planning for development was promising – but could not suggest when the city might see the finished product.
“Because it is going to be the whole redevelopment which perhaps could be more than $150 million there is an extensive period of planning money,” he explained.
“Hospitals are probably the most complicated builds possible, you’ve got to run a hospital and build a new one at the same time and it has to do all the things as efficiently as possible and meet the expectations of the community.”
Mr Piccoli was hopeful the redevelopment of Griffith hospital could be done in conjunction with the city St Vincent’s Private Community Hospital as had previously been done by other regional centres including Bowral and Goulburn.
On the ground Griffith Mayor John Dal Broi said he was glad to see the planning of an upgrade to the city’s hospital.
“At least they have acknowledged we have to do something about our base hospital,” he said on Wednesday.
“Although I believe there was a fair bit of master planning done over the last four years already, but this is an acknowledgement something needs to happen.”
With this in mind Cr Dal Broi said council would be doing everything in its power to continue the momentum.
“We now intend to follow through and try and get the government to commit going into the next election and council will be looking at commissioning a lobbyist to put a strategy together to take to the government,” he said.
“We will be looking at Griffith as a regional centre, comparing us to other centres comparable to our size and showing those that have already received funding for a major upgrade.
“We are going to do it right.”
Cr Dal Broi was also enthusiastic about the prospect of capitalising on the facilities already provided by the city’s existing private hospital and was hopeful this would come out early in the planning stages.