2020-2021 NSW Budget: Glen Innes Hospital redevelopment to be fast-tracked

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall Photo: supplied
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall Photo: supplied

The redevelopment of Glen Innes Hospital will be fast-tracked, with $500,000 committed in the state budget.

All up, the Glen Innes Shire will benefit from more than $20 million as part of the 2020-2021 NSW Budget, announced on Tuesday.

While Glen Innes Severn Council mayor Carol Sparks appreciates the budget allocations, she expected more.

"I welcome the budget allocations to the region, however I was disappointed with the allocation to Glen Innes Severn area," she said.

"$500,000 allocated from an already promised $20 million is not what I expected for this electorate."

The key project announced announced Tuesday's budget report for Glen Innes is $500,00 to fast-track the upcoming $20 million Glen Innes District Hospital upgrade.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said with this money in the bank Hunter New England Health (HNEH) could continue planning and start to deliver the Glen Innes Hospital redevelopment.

"It is absolutely key that in these early stages the planning is done right," he said.

"The last thing we want for the Glen Innes community is to rush into the project and leave something out that might benefit the community."

Mr Marshall said the half-a-million dollars allocated for Glen Innes Hospital would get the first stage of the redevelopment off and running.

"With the Clinical Services and Master Plan for the Glen Innes Hospital nearly finalised, as soon as the ink dries on their approval, work to demolish the old nurse's quarters can begin," he said.

"It's wonderful to see the money beginning to flow so these crucial local health projects can get cracking."

Unable to come to terms with the lack of funding Cr Sparks said council will be speaking to Mr Marshall.

"Other towns have benefited greatly, receiving millions, our funding is embarrassing in comparison," Cr Sparks said.

While Glen Innes Severn Council was disappointed with the budget allocations, overall the Northern Tablelands will receive a record $315.7 million over the next seven months, surpassing last year's record spend of $304.3 million in the electorate.

Mr Marshall said the delivery of Tuesday's COVID-19 budget built on the millions of dollars already injected by the state government into local communities, to fast-track road works, improve health services and upgrade public facilities.

"This is record-breaking funding - never before has the Northern Tablelands experienced a funding package like this," he said.

"While this budget reflects the tough economic times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires and drought, the state government has still provided the money we need to better our hospitals, invest in schools and continue to aid our small economies to recover.

"This is all due to our proactive local councils and their communities working together and being persistent in lobbying government for their fair share for these important projects that will enhance our region.

"Not only that, but our local councils have proven over the last 12 months they are capable of standing up and successfully delivering worthwhile tax-payer funded projects which will create new business opportunities and encourage their communities to thrive.

"Full credit goes to the community, they have earned this result today."