Lendlease to do re­build

The Tatura Guardian - - News - By De­clan Martin

Rede­vel­op­ment for Shepparton’s new multi-mil­lion dol­lar hospi­tal is set to be­gin be­fore the end of the month.

Vic­to­rian Health Min­is­ter Jill Hen­nessy was in Shepparton last week to an­nounce Syd­ney-based com­pany Lendlease would do the $168.5 mil­lion re­build.

The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment­funded rede­vel­op­ment will cre­ate a new four-storey tower with 64 in­pa­tient beds, 10 in­ten­sive care unit beds, seven op­er­at­ing the­atres and a new kitchen and morgue.

A brand new emer­gency de­part­ment will dou­ble its cur­rent ca­pac­ity and there will be a new women’s and chil­dren’s unit.

Fund­ing to re­tain the chil­dren’s ward’s 12 beds has also been se­cured in a bid to send fewer chil­dren to Mel­bourne for treat­ment.

Vic­to­rian Health Min­is­ter Jill Hen­nessy said more work still needed to be done to ad­dress the lack of cancer ser­vices in the re­gion, de­spite se­cur­ing fund­ing for a multi-mil­lion rede­vel­op­ment of Shepparton’s Goul­burn Val­ley Health.

Ms Hen­nessy said the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment had in­tro­duced a four-year cancer plan that would pro­vide a frame­work to im­prove cancer out­comes for re­gional Vic­to­ria.

‘‘We ab­so­lutely do think we need to do a bet­ter job in de­liv­er­ing cancer ser­vices right across re­gional Vic­to­ria, but par­tic­u­larly in this re­gion,’’ Ms Hen­nessy said.

‘‘The pro­vi­sion of cancer ser­vices isn’t just about the build­ing, it’s about get­ting the work­force, it’s about look­ing at what types of can­cers, how do you get the right spe­cial­ists to come in.

‘‘We need to do more, but we also need to make sure that we make it sus­tain­able and don’t have sec­ond-rate cancer ser­vices.’’

State Mem­ber for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed said the fa­cil­ity only strength­ened the case for a spe­cial­ist cancer treat­ment cen­tre and added she would con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for the ser­vice.

Ms Sheed said she be­lieved the re­gion was close to prov­ing it had the de­mo­graphic re­quire­ments and pop­u­la­tion to jus­tify a cancer cen­tre, as well as de­velop med­i­cal ser­vices in town.

‘‘We’ll be look­ing for fund­ing to re­ally try and re­de­velop a med­i­cal precinct in town, as well as re­de­velop the hospi­tal here,’’ Ms Sheed said.

Goul­burn Val­ley Health in­fra­struc­ture ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Sandy Cham­ber­lain said early works would cen­tre around en­able­ment, although there would be ser­vice dis­rup­tion and dif­fer­ent ac­cess points for pa­tients and staff.

‘‘In the next two years, posten­abling works, we’ll see a tower com­ing out of the ground, we see a dou­bling of our emer­gency de­part­ment, and we’ll see a new re­nal dial­y­sis treat­ment space, so there’ll be ex­cit­ing parts of the build,’’ Ms Cham­ber­lain said.

‘‘We’ve made sure the stag­ing does not re­duce treat­ment spa­ces, or any num­ber of beds at any stage dur­ing the build­ing.’’

The project re­quire­ments have aimed to use lo­cal ser­vices and em­ploy­ment, and Lendlease has com­mit­ted to en­gag­ing Abo­rig­i­nal em­ploy­ees as part of the re­gion’s Al­gabonyah Em­ploy­ment Part­ner­ships Pro­gram.

Ms Hen­nessy said the re­fur­bish­ment of the hospi­tal would be com­pleted by 2020. It will cre­ate an ad­di­tional 140 con­struc­tion jobs in the mean­time.

‘‘For a long time, peo­ple have been ad­vo­cat­ing for a larger health ser­vice here at Shepparton, and to­day here we’ve turned the first sod,’’ Ms Hen­nessy said.

‘‘I hope that those who are look­ing at Shepparton as a place to live feel com­forted by the health­care ser­vices that are avail­able and make the move, be­cause that’s how we want to keep the economies in our big re­gional cities alive.’’

Healthy fu­ture: Health Min­is­ter Jill Hen­nessy ad­dresses the crowd at GV Health.

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