Goulburn has scored funding for a much-awaited MRI machine for the Base Hospital in the state budget.
A slice of an extra $15 million for the $150m hospital redevelopment has been allocated for the equipment.
"It's fantastic news," Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman said.
"It's great for Goulburn and I've been working on this since I was elected. I couldn't fathom the fact that we had the space (in the new hospital) but not the machine."
The announcement on Tuesday has also buoyed the spirits of local man, Richard Cudaj, who lobbied for the funding. He travelled to Nowra, Canberra and Bowral for five MRI scans after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in May. Mr Cudaj subsequently met with Ms Tuckerman.
He was over the moon with the news.
"That's really good because people in Goulburn and region should be able to have this equipment," he said.
"I appreciate the behind the scenes work done because it means people won't have to go through the trauma that I did."
Mr Cudaj is recovering from an operation this month. He said each day was "better than the day before."
He thanked Ms Tuckerman for her efforts and for kicking off a petition, which garnered 2167 signatures over less than two weeks. This was presented to Health Minister Brad Hazzard before the budget.
It is not clear at this stage how much is allocated to the MRI, how it will be delivered or when. Ms Tuckerman said the $15m also includes funds for a sterilising unit fit-out, a CT scanner and a transitional living brain injury unit.
The Health Department has allocated $28.5m this financial year for the hospital redevelopment. Budget papers show $116,041 of the originally allocated $150m has already been spent on the work.
The NSW Local Health District said in May that the project was within its $150m budget. On Tuesday, it declined to detail how the extra $15m was allocated, directing The Post to the budget papers which did not show the split.
The Health District is already transitioning some services from the Bourke Street Health Service, where a brain injury unit exists.
Ms Tuckerman said the $15m also funds a private rental agreement to provide a transitional brain injury service to the community, outside the hospital setting. Few details are available at this stage.
Elsewhere on the health front, stage two of Bowral Hospital's redevelopment scored $8.9 million.
Support for new parents
Meantime, Tresillian Early Parenting and Gidget Foundation has scored funding to establish a Regional Family Care Centre in Goulburn. It will provide parents of babies with sleeping or feeding issues or who suffer from post-natal anxiety and depression. Another centre will be built in Queanbeyan.
Ms Tuckerman said the money would also pay for an associated mobile bus service from Queanbeyan to the region.
She hoped the region would also benefit from $8.6m over four years for people with movement disorders, such as Parkinson's Disease. Goulburn's support group has been campaigning for a Parkinson's support nurse for some years.
On other fronts, the Goulburn Police Academy was allocated $19m to continue a $60m upgrade, which includes refurbishment of student accommodation and classroom facilities.
In the 2021/22 financial year, $11.5m of $25m is set aside for a new Goulburn Police Station. A location has not been decided after NSW Police withdrew from its proposal to purchase the council's Bourke Street depot.
In the transport sector, $18.4m is allocated in 2021/22 towards a Hume Highway pavement upgrade at Marulan and $52.6m to the Barton Highway's duplication.
Other expenditure includes:
- $4.6m as part of a $5.2m Restart NSW package for the Southern Regional Livestock Exchange at Moss Vale;
- $2.3m of a $9.5m project to "reinvigorate the Wombeyan Caves experience and deliver nature-based tourism opportunities;
- $20.1m for a new primary school at Murrumbateman;
- Previously announced hall upgrades at Queanbeyan West Public School and Yass High School;
- $34.7m to build a new high school at Bungendore;
- $52.6m in 21/22 to continue the Barton Highway duplication;
- $6.2m in 21/22 to continue new rail alignment options along the Sydney to Canberra corridor as part of an $80m allocation.
Ms Tuckerman expected the region to benefit from more than $6 billion to support teachers, new and upgraded schools and technology.
The MP also welcomed $44m to make $100 vouchers for swimming lessons available to every pre-school child aged three to six in NSW.
In addition, round four of the Stronger Country Communities Fund will roll out projects in all council areas, along with increases in other regional infrastructure funds.
Ms Tuckerman said the budget, with its projected $709bn operating deficit, had achieved a "phenomenal result" amid coronavirus challenges.
"It means extra money can be put into helping reduce the cost of living for families," she said.