“They will close it over my dead body,” says Member for Goulburn Pru Goward, in relation to the Bourke Street Health Service.
Representatives from the Health Services Union (HSU) and other unions met with Ms Goward on Monday, in what has been labelled by both parties as a “productive” meeting.
“The meeting with the HSU was very constructive. We are on same page,” Ms Goward said.
“We both agree Bourke Street should remain open until the new hospital is finished. I got that undertaking from the Ministry. I have negotiated this myself and there is no way this will close – in fact, it will close only over my dead body.”
Ms Goward said the same letter that she wrote to the Goulburn Post on November 23 has also been seen by NSW Premier Mike Baird, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner and NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian.
In this letter she states clearly that “the Bourke Street Health Service will remain open until the new hospital is built.”
“The Ministry knows exactly how I feel about it. They know that the local member does not feel it is ok to close the Bourke Street Health Service,” she said.
Goulburn District Unions president Anna Crawford-Wurth confirmed it was a “positive meeting.”
“We want to thank Pru for her support in keeping Bourke Street open. We pushed for this meeting because we had conflicting messages from the Local Health District (LHD) over its possible closure,” Ms Crawford-Wurth said.
“Pru is adamant that Bourke Street will not close and she is doing further consultation with the LHD on this matter. We are on the same page.
Health Services Union organiser Josh Howarth said the HSU raised other matters in the meeting.
“We also raised that the current Cost-Benefit Analysis from the LHD about Bourke Street only takes into account the Mariam Unit (Palliative Care) - it does not factor in all of the other services that operate out of Bourke Street,” he said.
“We want a copy of this analysis released to the community,” he said.