A NEW integrated medical centre in the Bathurst central business district will be the key to improved health services in the region if the plans are approved.
The medical facility, which includes a new private hospital, has been proposed for the former Clancy Motors site in Howick Street and would also include a multi-storey car park.
It's a joint effort between a development consortium, Bathurst RSL Club and Bathurst Regional Council.
The idea was announced publicly in December 2020 and it is hoped the facility will be ready by late 2023, however, a development application (DA) has yet to be submitted.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole this week spoke about how important the Bathurst Integrated Medical Centre will be in future.
"To have a good health system you actually need both, you need a strong private system and also a strong public system, and I think this private hospital opportunity is one that I certainly hope is given the green light as soon as possible," he said.
He believes the facility would attract more specialists and services to Bathurst.
"I'm a strong advocate for the need for that private hospital to happen here in Bathurst," Mr Toole said.
"I think that has a lot of opportunities to bring more specialists into the area and to bring more services into our community as we continue to grow, and it will no doubt be an attractive proposition for clinicians to want to live and work in a city like Bathurst, rather than work and then leave."
His comments come at a time when council is considering entering into a public-private partnership with the other parties involved in the proposed medical centre.
A report to Wednesday's meeting recommends council authorise general manager David Sherley to notify the Office of Local Government of its intentions to consider the partnership with regard to the proposed medical centre and associated car park.
It also recommends council seek legal advice on the agreement.
The DA is close to completion, with council set to have pre-lodgement meeting with the proponents on Tuesday.
The report has also recommended that council authorise Mr Sherley to provide concurrence to the land owner to the lodging of a DA to for the car park component of the development, subject to satisfactory internal review of the plans.
The applicant will need to certify that the concurrence of the land owner, council, has been received before it can lodge the DA with the car park plans included.
Providing concurrence does not commit council to any future decisions about the car park, only that the application can be submitted for assessment.
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