The New South Wales Government has announced plans for a new hospital in Shellharbour, five years after its original promise to improve the community’s hospital facilities.

Key points:

  • The NSW Government has committed another $320 million for a new hospital at Shellharbour
  • It promised $251 million five years ago to upgrade the old hospital at Mt Warrigal
  • The Federal Government has already committed $128 million to the project

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today that the government was committing an additional $320 million to build a new hospital on a new site.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the clinical plan for the hospital had already been completed.

Mr Hazzard said it was expected the construction process would take five years and would create 2,800 jobs.

The government said it was yet to select a site for the development, but had several locations under consideration.

Controversial history

In 2015, the Coalition government committed $251 million and proposed a public-private partnership for the hospital redevelopment.

Widespread community opposition led the government to abandon plans for privatisation in 2017.

The first sod in redeveloping the existing hospital at Mount Warrigal was turned in November 2018, with some preliminary earthworks and upgrades.

The state government said an additional $20 million was obtained for work on the car park at the existing hospital, but was not spent.

In May 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised $128 million in federal money for the hospital project.

In the same month, local health workers led by Dr Geoffrey Murray presented the NSW Government with a letter signed by almost 60 doctors calling for Shellharbour Hospital to be rebuilt on a new site rather than redeveloped at its current location in Mount Warrigal.

Welcome announcement

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson has welcomed the fresh promise of a new hospital for her electorate.(ABC Illawarra: Tim Fernandez)

Shellharbour Labor MP Anna Watson said she had suggested the new hospital be located in Shell Cove and welcomed the promised spending today.

She said it came after ongoing discussions with Mr Hazzard.

“I am delighted that this is finally happening,” Ms Watson said.

“It’s also going to take a lot pf pressure off Wollongong emergency department; it means people in Dapto and West Dapto will have much easier access right down the highway.”

She said she hoped the plan would incorporate the proposed Women’s Trauma Recovery Centre.

“I am very anxious to see what comes of that — I would love to see that as an attachment to the new hospital. I think it is needed.”

The NSW Government first promised to upgrade the hospital in 2015.(ABC Illawarra: Tim Fernandez)

While disappointed she wasn’t invited to the media announcement, Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba welcomed the announcement.

“I think a new public hospital will be a fantastic thing for the people of our community,” she said.


By admin