Planning ahead for an expanding city
We all have such a great opportunity before us to add value to our new hospital upgrade to ensure Dubbo Hospital has the parking it needs to accommodate the sick, disabled, elderly and less mobile people who use this essential service.
We have all heard the horror stories at the brand new Orange Hospital, where hospital planners underestimated the amount of car spaces needed for a large regional hospital, and we all saw the community of Orange grow increasingly frustrated with Health Authorities and their ever so slow reaction to the obvious major problem that needed urgent action.
While everyone agrees that parking at our hospital is terrible, it is minor compared to the nonsensical drama that unfolded at Orange.
With that being said, we also should be mindful that if we don’t act on rectifying our bad hospital car parking situation now, it will get worse – much worse and it will be even harder to find a solution to the problem.
Dubbo Regional Council has a fantastic opportunity to assist the State Government in increasing parking space numbers. Teresa Maliphant Park across the road gives an ideal opportunity to increase space without costing too much.
Your Council has offered land to health authorities for them to build and extra 88 spaces. The bulk of the area is on Council “operational” land and small slither of land, less than 10 per cent, is on Crown Land.
In recent times there has been chatter that council does not own the Crown Land to give away in the first place. However common sense indicates that if Council can give to the Crown (government) land for a car park, surely the Crown can give to the Crown Land as well.
In my 12 months of being Mayor, I have learnt that Dubbo truly shines when there is a positive optimism in the air and when the community, business, agencies and government work together using high energy and even higher levels of enthusiasm.
You only have to look at the achievements of the Dubbo City Regional Airport to see what happens when you gather stakeholders together and insert enthusiasm. The same can be done for the Dubbo Hospital if the community work together to both convince the government for extra parking as well as potentially assist them as well.
Like many Dubbo residents, I too look at other regional cities and get annoyed when I see them getting a bigger slice of government spending then us. Seeing how Orange, Bathurst and Wagga all got brand new hospitals while we simply got extensions is annoying. But let us not just complain about this inequity, let us get proactive and show health authorities that we too want to be part of the funding cycle.
When it was discovered that the Liberals have committed $30million to a multi-storey car parking station at the brand new Wagga Wagga Hospital, many in the community were cranky about being left out yet again. However, being cranky is not going to solve the problem.
It’s up to each and every one of us to actively talk up Dubbo’s credentials, use the Wagga Wagga example when talking to politicians and generally be proactive in making sure our city gets its fair share.
On another note, don’t forget that Dubbo Day nominations are open. These incredible awards are designed to recognise the outstanding members of our community who dedicate a large part of their life to volunteer work. We are asking everyone in the community to nominate someone they know who fits this description.
While people don’t do it for the recognition, it is important to acknowledge those who do so much and the list of previous Dubbo Day award winners is a glittering list of our city’s dedicated citizens.
We know there are still plenty out there who would be worthy additions to the list so head to dubbo.nsw.gov.au or visit the Dubbo Regional Council Customer Service Centre.