Funding allocated for Cowra Hospital redevelopment planning in NSW budget

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has welcomed $500,000 in funding for the planning stage of the Cowra Hospital redevelopment. Photo supplied.
Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has welcomed $500,000 in funding for the planning stage of the Cowra Hospital redevelopment. Photo supplied.

$500,000 in funding has been committed to the next stage of the Cowra Hospital redevelopment after the 2020/21 NSW budget was delivered on Tuesday.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke welcomed the funding, which she says will allow the next phase of the project, the development of a master plan, to get under way.

"I have passionately fought for this hospital redevelopment and I am so heartened this funding has been allocated," Ms Cooke said.

"This next step follows on from work already carried out by Western NSW Local Health District to refresh the Cowra Clinical Services Plan which has helped to identify the future health needs of the Cowra community.

"This next round of funding enables planning to progress, which will lead to the design and delivery of this redevelopment."

This is despite Ms Cooke setting the price tag of a master plan at "several million dollars" when she and Cowra Mayor, Councillor Bill West lobbied the state government earlier this month.

"It's released in tranches according to where the project is up to... It's about having part of that $70.2mil released specifically to develop the master plan," she said at the time.

"We don't have a choice but to deliver this project."

Cr West said funding certainty was needed after NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard committed $70.2 million to the project in 2019.

"It's imperative the process of the planning for the hospital continues without any delay or without being put on the backburner," he said earlier this month.

"The community I think has an expectation, reasonably so, given the Minister's announcement on the steps of this very building a couple of years ago about a sod turn in 2023."

Following community and stakeholder consultation, a finalised Clinical Services Plan is set to be released by the end of the year, which will inform the master plan.

A draft plan is available for feedback at https://wnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Downloads/Cowra%20CSP%20Summary%20document.pdf