Macquarie Home Stay will be a game changer for the west

In the lead up to the next State Government election in March 2019, Nationals Candidate for Barwon Andrew Schier is getting out into what he hopes will become his electorate to familiarise himself with local issues. Mr Schier recently visited the building site of the Macquarie Home Stay and met with project manager Rod Crowfoot. Photo contributed

Work is progressing well on the $4.5 million first stage of the Macquarie Home Stay facility in Dubbo according to Nationals candidate for Barwon Andrew Schier.

It’s set to be finished in the next couple of months, with the first guests expected to be in December.

Mr Schier recently visited Macquarie Home Stay, an accommodation facility specifically set up for regional residents needing somewhere to stay before, and/or after treatment at Dubbo Hospital.

Stage one of the project was made possible through a State Government grant of $3.3million, and Mr Schier says it’s going to tick a lot of boxes.

“Stage one features 14 double guest rooms, a self-catering kitchen along with common areas, and six slightly larger rooms for people with greater access needs.

“The main building is in a u-shape, with a central pergola area, and a nice country feel thanks to the galvanised iron sheets on the external walls,” he said.

The master plan for Macquarie Home Stay includes three stages but project manager Rod Crowfoot says its likely a fourth will also be needed.

“We are particularly focused at the moment on trying to attract capital funding to build stages two and three,” he said.

“We’re looking towards getting stage two and three on line and ready by the end of 2020 when the Western Cancer Centre opens.”

The ability to book accommodation through Macquarie Home Stay will be a game changer for patients across the Barwon electorate, and Mr Schier said he’ll be spreading the word across the region as he travels.

“Most guests who would look to stay there will be eligible for support from the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS).

“Macquarie Home Stay will be looking to claim the IPTAS component, so guests will only have to make a small gap payment,” Mr Schier said.