"ANYBODY that's against this development has rocks in their head."
The prospect of a new private hospital, right in the middle of the central business district (CBD), has been welcomed by the Bathurst Health Services Action Group.
Spokesperson Warren Aubin was enthusiastic about the plans, publicly announced on Thursday afternoon, saying it would make a big difference to the community by bringing in "specialists in every field".
Bathurst Regional Council met with the developers on Wednesday night for a formal presentation of the concept.
Mr Aubin said that, at an estimated $70 million, it would be one of the biggest private developments Bathurst has had.
He said the integrated medical services facility would be a six-storey building, while the proposed car park would span five floors and provide over 900 parking spaces.
The car park, he said, would be built in stages.
"That in itself is a major, major coup for the city, to get a multi-level car park in the CBD," Mr Aubin said.
"But that private hospital is just a godsend. We've been banging on as the action group for nearly two years now trying to get better services into the hospital, and it's a tough gig, but this will actually bring specialists in every field."
The proposal for the facility is coming from a development consortium that was behind the Bloomfield Medical Centre in Orange, which opened in late 2019.
Mr Aubin said Bloomfield and another project the developers were involved him, have been booming since they became operational.
"Bathurst will be no different. We will be looking at filling it up with specialists," he said.
It is expected that this will significantly cut down on the number of people forced to go to Orange for treatment.
Mr Aubin hasn't spoken with all the doctors in the action group, but the one he has spoken to is very excited about the facility.
Mr Aubin expects there will be some push-back against the plans in the community, particularly regarding the impact on the streetscape, but said there's no reason for it.
Based on concept images, he said the appearance of the building would be sympathetic with the heritage area.
"It's a win for everyone. Anybody that's against this development has rocks in their heads," he said.
"... This is a development the people of Bathurst need and deserve for a growing community and everybody should be grasping this with open arms. It's a brilliant thing."