The State government will invest $30 million for a new carpark at Dubbo hospital that should add more than 350 additional free car parking spaces.
Health Infrastructure will instigate a car parking feasibility and planning process to decide if the car park will be multi-story or not.
Nationals’ candidate for Dubbo Dugald Saunders could not give a timeline for construction saying that would be up to Health Infrastructure.
Mr Saunders said he had been “pestering” Deputy Premier John Barilaro for a new carpark at Dubbo hospital since becoming a candidate.
“The carpark at Dubbo hospital can no longer handle the demands of patients and staff who need ready access to our expanding hospital services. This announcement proves that when you have a loud voice in government, you can get things done,” he said.
“The best access to modern healthcare facilities closer to home is a priority for this government.”
Western Health District chief executive Scott McLachlan said the extra car parking would be vital to providing the best service to the region.
“This is such a positive for Dubbo and Western NSW,” he said.
“So many people come to Dubbo needing health services and the last thing we want to see is people frustrated and struggling to get parking close to a health facility where they need to receive good care.
“We know that has been an issue for some time, so this new carpark is a great boost in the arm for the hospital.”
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said providing suitable parking to improve access to the hospital’s services was a priority for the government.
“Especially in rural and regional areas where patients and their families often have a long drive to their nearest hospital,” Mr Barilaro said.
However, Country Labor candidate for Dubbo Stephen Lawrence said the government’s hand was forced.
“In October 2018 I moved that Dubbo Council throw its weight behind the need for the state government to meet its basic responsibilities and adequately provide for car parking at Dubbo hospital,” he said. “This followed council offering land for car parking. The fact the council had to intervene in this matter to this degree says a lot.
“Providing parking at our hospitals is a basic responsibility of state government. How appalling that a government would fail so badly to do so and then in its dying days politicise the issue by making an election promise.”
“People will see straight through this. Not least as they are still waiting for the duplicate LH Ford bridge that the Nationals promised last time, along with the Drug Court and rehabilitation centre we were told in March 2015 was, “close to being finalised”. Similar to the Mudgee residents who were promised their hospital redevelopment in this term of government.”