NSW Health confirms Eurobodalla Hospital land still not acquired, more than a year after announcement
In a remarkable admission today during Budget Estimates, NSW Health bureaucrats today confirmed that the Liberal National Government still does not own the land earmarked for the new Eurobodalla Hospital.
Senior executives from NSW Health confirmed that the acquisition of the land was still under negotiation, even though the site was first selected in 2020.
In response to questioning from Labor’s Walt Secord about acquisition of the land, Deputy Secretary Dr Nigel Lyons said:
“It hasn’t been finalised yet…there have been ongoing negotiations with the person who owns that land, they haven’t been able to reach agreement.”
This is the latest in a string of statements by the Government attempting to downplay the protracted process of acquiring the land.
Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park, said "What is clear is that the Government’s handling of the Eurobodalla Hospital has been shameful. They only promised a Level 4 hospital around by-elections, but the devil is always in the detail with this Government.
"The Opposition will continue to advocate on behalf the people of Bega to ensure they deliver on their word – because this community deserves adequate health services.
On 1 February, appearing at a Parliamentary Inquiry, senior executives from Southern NSW LHD stated that NSW Health was “currently finalising the sale agreement with the landowner”.
On 2 February, Health Minister Brad Hazzard stated that “the process is proceeding as planned”.
On 8 February, the Minister revealed that the landowner had in fact been served notice to begin compulsory acquisition of the land back in December 2021, following 13 months of negotiations.
The Shadow Minister for Health said: "This is a Government that has completely failed the community when it comes to actually delivering the improvements to health services they need."
"Dr Holland and I will continue to fight for local residents to ensure this project gets back on track, that’s what they expect and that is what we will do."
Dr Michael Holland, Member for Bega, said: “It is deeply disappointing to hear that the land for the Eurobodalla Hospital still has not been acquired, more than a year since the site was announced.”
“From day one, this Government has failed to be transparent with our community about the new hospital, whether it’s about services, staffing, or even if they own the land to build it on. All we get from this Government is spin.”
“How can the community have faith that the hospital will be up and running in three years’ time when the Government doesn’t even own the land yet?”
“We don’t need more announcements and photo ops. We need a new hospital.”
NSW Labor’s representatives on the hearing are the Hon Greg Donnelly MLC and the Hon Walt Secord MLC.
Above: "It is hard to distinguish fact from spin when they speak" was one lasting comment from this Moruya "marketing exercise" that came festooned with all kinds of promises. Caption: "Where are they now?"