Search begins for new Bundaberg hospital site
THE site of the new Bundaberg hospital remains open to speculation as the government completes its detailed analysis of where it should go.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said he was willing to step back from letting the site fit into Bundaberg Regional Council's proposed revitalisation project for the central business district.
"I just want a new hospital,” Cr Dempsey said when responding to a plea on social media for him not to continue lobbying for a CBD location.
"That's up to Wide Bay Health and the government to decide through their detailed business analysis.”
His petition to the Queensland Parliament urging for the construction of the hospital closed yesterday, and had 1280 signatures.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed on Saturday that a new location would be part of the hospital's detailed analysis, and Cr Dempsey had posted his support for the announcement.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board chairwoman Peta Jamieson said there had been a review of private and public sites across the Bundaberg region, and this review would become more detailed.
"These sites will be accessed against key criteria such as accessibility, room for growth, flood protection and development costs,” she said.
"At the appropriate time as the process takes shape, public information sessions will also be held to allow the community to have their say.”
Bundaberg MP David Batt did not answer where he thought the new hospital's location should be.
But he said he would pressure the government to complete its analysis of a new local hospital before the state election in October next year.
Mr Batt said the Premier's announcement had been overdue.
"Our community knew we needed a new hospital, we were just waiting for the government to agree,” he said.
"Fighting for a new hospital in Bundaberg has always been my number one priority and I know from the number of phone calls, visits and emails I get weekly, it's also the number one priority for Bundaberg residents too.”
He said that the new hospital would mean less locals would need to travel to Brisbane for medical treatment.
Last year Bundaberg businessman John Santalucia offered the government 10ha of land in Ashfield to guarantee a new site for the hospital.
He was reached for comment yesterday to determine if the offer was still available.
Queensland Health responded at the time by saying the offer would be among those considered when the process reached site selection.