Goulburn Base Hospital project widely consults | Editorial

Goulburn Base Hospital’s redevelopment is in safe hands with Kerry Hort as project manager.

The former Goulburn Health Services manager came armed with an impressive and long record in health care and administration. She has worked her way up through the ranks and has the widespread support of her colleagues.

This has been important during consultation about the new hospital. Ms Hort is the first to acknowledge the facility must be well designed to be truly workable and make life easier for patients and staff. The fact that 220 people have been involved in this process, across several sessions, is a credit to her and planners. It is not just a tick-a-box exercise but one that is yielding practical design changes. We are told particular attention has been paid to the oncology area.

The approach stands in stark contrast to that of former Health District CEO Janet Compton. She embarked on plans, fortunately aborted, to shift oncology to the Base before the hospital’s redevelopment. Staff were left in the dark and disillusioned. Ms Compton also had to be hounded into holding public consultation sessions about the $120 million project.

The appointment of Dr Allan Hawke as health district chair hails a new era and approach. He has already signalled that more information about the redevelopment would be made public. Recruitment is underway to appoint a communications officer for health infrastructure projects. This is on top of Ms Hort’s on the ground efforts which will ramp up a notch in late September with engagement of community groups about the schematic design.  

Under pressure

Comments by rail industry executives and former players have thoroughly debunked the State Government’s claims that Dubbo was the better choice for a maintenance centre.

As rail author Leon Oberg and others have so stridently put it, Dubbo’s selection was pork barrelling at its worst. The council under former Mayor Geoff Kettle pushed Goulburn’s credentials but once again, for purely political reasons, the city has missed a prime opportunity.

Goulburn MP Pru Goward is falling into line on the government’s expedient explanation, designed to pacify The Nationals. She should more fully explain the reasons. We also watch with interest developments on Service NSW jobs.

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