DEPUTY Premier John Barilaro announced this morning $45 million will go towards completing the Muswellbrook Hospital redevelopment.
The announcement comes off the back of an array of complaints that the hospital had been left unfinished for two years after stage one of the redevelopment was delivered in 2015 and stage two in 2019.
Deputy Barilaro said the funding is not a pork barrelling move, with the stage three project in planning since 2018 and hit-back at Labor for making “fraudulent promises they can’t deliver.”
“They’re not in government. All their shallow and hollow promises is pork barrelling, it’s actually a fraud because they can’t deliver,” Mr Barilaro said.
“There is a by-election and by-election’s are when promises are made about the future, it’s actually what the electorate expect from you because they’ve got to judge a candidate,” he said.
“There are announcements we’ve made recently where we were accused of pork barrelling, but they were commitments that were in the pipeline and were just timely,” he said.
“Regardless of what happens on the 22nd of May, we will still be in government, so the reality is we’ve got to get on with business as usual,” said Mr Barilaro.
The $45 million stage three project will include consolidating all acute clinical services into one building including Maternity Services, with works expected to begin next year.
“The improvements we are announcing today include a new 26 bed inpatient unit, with two palliative care beds, a four-bed maternity inpatient unit and two birthing suites to ensure the best care for local mums and bubs,” said Deputy Barilaro.
National candidate David Layzell said he has been inspired by the people of the Upper Hunter during his campaign tour.
“As a father of four I know how important it is to have great maternity services available locally, and this will be a welcome boost for our region in attracting young families to live, work and play in the Upper Hunter, as well as providing relief to those who already call this region home,” he said.
“It’s about strengthening our community, making it safer and stronger using the State Government’s strong economy to do so,” said Mr Layzell.
Stage 3 of the redevelopment will also include:
- Paediatric Suite;
- Two New Operating Rooms;
- New Central Sterilising Service;
- Staff zones;
- Eight additional staff overnight rooms;
- Refurbished inpatient unit, Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) outpatient unit into community health spaces.
For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.