Plans for new health facilities take another step forward

Memorandum of Understanding to incorporate the Lilliane Brady Village retirement home with Cobar’s proposed new multipurpose health service.

The matter was discussed in the Committee of the Whole closed council meeting last Thursday with council agreeing to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Health Administration Corporation and Western NSW Local Health District.

Councillors have requested that council be involved in the process of the final selection of the private operator who will take over the running of the facility.

They also requested that council be given a seat on the final voting panel with voting rights.

The decision was made to co-locate Cobar’s new multipurpose health service with the Lilliane Brady Village (LBV) at a public meeting held in Cobar in December 2015.

At the public consultation Lyn Duffy from Health and Infrastructure said the public had helped them to determine which direction the Western NSW Local Health District’s (WNSWLHD) new Multipurpose Service (MPS) would take.

“Cobar Shire Council would not make a decision unless the community was consulted.

“This has given us some idea of what the community wants,” Ms Duffy said.

She said it was the first time this particular co-located MPS model had been considered by WNSWLHD.

Ms Duffy said the clinical services plan had to be approved by Ministry before further consultations with stakeholders, including the staff of both Cobar Hospital and the LBV.

At that stage Ms Duffy said she expected a master plan would be drawn up by about April 2016 which would be brought to Cobar for further consultations with stakeholders and the community.

She said the concept design would then be finalised and a schematic design drawn up.

A cost estimate would be calculated and the project brief and business case would be presented to the NSW Ministry of Health for final approval.

Ms Duffy said the detailed design would then need to be signed off before tenders are called and a contractor is appointed and building can begin.

“It’s a long process. It would still be a good two years before we see any ground being dug,” Ms Duffy said at the December meeting.

She said where possible, they would aim to use local contractors for the construction of the new facility.