Wodonga Council will continue to advocate for a purpose-built hospital on a greenfield site following the $558 million announcement of a redevelopment of the Albury hospital site.
Wodonga Mayor Cr Kev Poulton said he and his fellow councillors had continued to hear from the community in the days following the announcement that an upgrade was not good enough.
“The message we are getting from all sectors in our community is that we don’t want second-best and we deserve better,” Cr Poulton said.
“As a council, we appreciated the considered response put forward by the Border Medical Association in its letter to the community on the weekend.
“And we echo their sentiments that it is pleasing to see the premiers working together but the outcome has been a disappointment.
“This isn’t about which side of the border the hospital sits but is about ensuring as a community we get the health service we need and deserve, not just for now but for the future.
“The positive of the announcement that the health services agreement has been signed and that’s good news.
“But the announcement was lacking in detail, lacking more beds, lacking more clinical services and lacking capacity to service our existing specialists.
“We will continue to advocate on behalf of our community for a single-site hospital on a greenfield site.
“We want to ensure that we get a facility that can meet the needs of our growing cities and that councils are genuinely involved in the strategic planning of our health service.”
Key considerations for a greenfield site include a readily accessible location – by road, air, freeway and public transport – that is centred on future growth of Albury-Wodonga and the region as well as having the ability to expand, has ample parking and can be co-located with educational and research facilities.
The council supports the community coming together and backs the purpose of the rally to be held this Sunday in the continuing push for a new site.