THE Great Pre-Budget Cash Splash is continuing across the Central West this week, and still we can barely hear a word of complaint.
By the time Treasurer Dominic Perrottet hands down the 2017-18 State Budget on Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine there will be any surprises left to reveal.
A better-than-expected result from the privatisation of the state’s poles and wires businesses has left the NSW Government flush with around $2 billion more in the bank than would have otherwise been the case.
And while there remains a nagging concern over what we’ll do for cash once all the state’s assets have been sold off, that’s a worry for another day. For now, let’s enjoy the money as it comes rolling into the region.
The latest big-ticket item for the Bathurst region will be money finally being set aside in Tuesday’s budget to build a new ambulance station.
The new station had been promised to us more than two years ago during the 2015 state election campaign and while we’ve waited longer than we would have liked to see any further progress, it’s good to see it happening at last.
Paramedics working out of the current station at the lower end of William Street will welcome news that the new station is finally going to be built, saying their current home is outdated and that access off the main street can create difficulties and delays.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole said there will be a development application for the new ambulance station in the coming months so that leaves one big question – where will the new station be built?
The former Clancy Motors site on Howick Street was originally suggested as a possible home for the new ambulance station but that no longer appears likely.
We know that site has been earmarked for future retail development as Bathurst continues to grow and building a new ambulance station within the CBD would only repeat the access issues at heavy traffic times.
Land near the PCYC has also been mooted as a possible site and that has plenty of appeal. That site is out of the CBD in a relatively low traffic area and is also close to Bathurst Base Hospital.
Of course, the new station might go somewhere different altogether. We don’t really mind, though, we just want to see it built – and sooner rather than later.