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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Work Begins on new Regional Hospital

The Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, was on site this morning to pay respect to the many who have bought together the new regional hospital project. Present to the event were representatives of Southern NSW Local Health District and NSW Infrastructure along with the Eurobodalla Health Service, Southern New South Wales Local Health District  Chair. Giving a welcome to country, Bunja Smith made comment on the inclusion that the planning process of the new hospital has forged with the local aboriginal community. It was noted on several occasions during speeches that the new facility would allow for birthing in country and that aboriginal midwives are currently undertaking studies in readiness for the hospital's opening.

Today's focus was around works beginning with the first step being the undertaking of an archaeological study of the site. The study is scheduled to take around twenty days. Further to the study works works are to commence shortly on the new roundabout that will be installed on the Princes Highway south of Moruya TAFE.

Above: blue lines indicate the lines of the archaeological survey and study

Above: Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) Chief Executive, Margaret Bennett and Brad Scotcher, General Manager of Southern NSW Local Health District As expected the event had its quiet undertone of politics in that the 'MC' for the event was the local Liberal Candidate who opened the occasion. Disappointingly the local Member for Bega was not present. Nor the Eurobodalla Mayor. Minister Hazzard was open about the politics that have been present around this new facility from the start, making comment that it was unique to this new facility and not encountered anywhere else in the State. "If only it was being treated in the same bi-partisan manner as disability health". The Minister was quizzed on NSW Health policy around nurse ratios and the current staffing crisis across the State. His response, supported by Chief Executive Margaret Bennett, was that every effort is being made to support whatever is required to increase the numbers of nurses and doctors in the State.

Inevitably the question around the radiotherapy facility was raised. The Federal Government have provided $8 million for the facility, however there is no inclusion of such a facility within the current plans for the new hospital. While The Beagle has made comment around the fact that most recent "announcements" have been little more than electioneering opportunities for the current government and and opportunity to showcase their candidate in the upcoming Sate election, often attended by the ex-member for Bega, Andrew Constance, it was fair and reasonable that Mr Constance attend today. In all fairness Andrew Constance has been there from the start and was the Local Member who pushed for the new regional hospital. It was he who presented the community petition to Parliament and he who ensured that the new facility gained momentum, and sustained momentum. Standing alongside the Southern NSW Local Health District, the NSW Infrastructure and the community representatives it was good to see him invited. When the question of the radiotherapy facility came up it was Andrew Constance who stepped up to the microphone and encapsulated, without any politics, the reality around the position, reiterating that the sums presently don't add up for the provision of a facility that would require the full time attendance an expert team. As much as the community might not accept these facts, they are indeed facts. Alas it is a numbers game and presently the numbers don't stack up. In time they might. These numbers have been presented before as reasoning why the $8m contribution has not been taken up, only to be challenged by way of the evidence of the upward results of the most recent census that showed an exponential growth in the region. The only information so far in the public domain is that the South Coast has excess deaths from cancer and that with increased distance from a radiotherapy unit access is reduced for those with cancer.

No data has yet been released from the various consultant reports commissioned by Minister Taylor and there is no indication if they will ever be released. Further reading: Moruya Radiotherapy Unit – A Community Perspective Today's event took place on the hillside of the new hospital site, possibly around the future viewpoint of the main entrance. It was a quiet media call and the purpose was to announce the commencement of the archaeological survey and for the Minister for Health to say a final thank you to those behind the scenes for their efforts to date. It wasn't a place for politics, and while the Minister did advise on his accomplishments across the State during his time as Minister, it was with a humility of undeniable improvements to NSW Health infrastructure.

As has been the case on previous visits there were protestors with placards at the site entrance calling for the hospital to open with Level Four services, radiotherapy, immediacy of works to begin and more mental health services. The call for improved nurse ratios will also continue, especially during the current climate of staff shortages but it is hoped that, in time, there is bi-partisan agreement and actions that will deliver better outcomes and improvements. For the present, the new Eurobodalla hospital is now underway.


Unknown member
Mar 01, 2023

Good grief! How can the soon-to-be-gone minister (he's retiring) say the hospital is beyond politics when he invited only his party's hopeful and has-been. A truly honest gesture would have been to invite local members, state and federal, and the shire mayor.

Unknown member
Mar 05, 2023
Replying to

And the taxpaying public who actually deliver the funding that allows it to happen.


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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