THIS week’s state budget will contain money for Bathurst’s long-awaited new ambulance station in the clearest indication yet that the project is a priority.
Though he couldn’t confirm the location for the new station, Member for Bathurst Paul Toole could confirm that budget funds would be allocated to the project and a development application for it was likely “in the coming months”.
The NSW Government has made it clear from the start of the process that it is unlikely to redevelop the existing historic station in William Street and is more likely to choose a greenfield site for a new facility.
“Within the next four weeks, I’m hoping we can clearly identify the site,” Mr Toole said.
The NSW Government made a $6.6 million election commitment on the eve of the 2015 state poll to give Bathurst a new ambulance station, but progress has mostly been behind the scenes since then.
Mr Toole said earlier this year that the station would be built before the next state poll, which is due in March 2019.
”For a city that has grown in health services, it needs adequate space [in a new station] for training, for ambulance vehicles to be stationed, for office space,” Mr Toole said on Monday.
He said Bathurst’s station would be one of a number of new stations built across the state by the NSW Government.
“It will be a real model for how ambulance stations are going to be looked at into the future,” he said.
NSW Ambulance Superintendent Brad Porter said he was pleased with the budget boost to the local station project.
“NSW Ambulance welcomes the announcement by the NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet that the 2017-18 NSW Budget will include a funding allocation of $35 million to support the ongoing rollout of projects being delivered under the Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration (RAIR) program, including a new ambulance station at Bathurst,” he said.
“Health Infrastructure, the government agency responsible for delivering the $122 million RAIR program, is currently working to secure a new site [for the Bathurst ambulance station] and conducting the relevant investigations which, when complete, will inform the delivery timeframes.
“The new station will feature facilities that are a major improvement on the current 88-year-old building on William Street and will better support our local paramedics in continuing to deliver high quality emergency mobile care to the communities of Bathurst and surrounds.”