Yesterday’s State budget included $1.2 billion for a new Bundaberg Hospital with 121 new beds and funds to commence work on the Paradise Dam restoration.
The record health budget earmarked $9.78 billion for a hospital and health infrastructure plan over six years, with $20 million for new Bundaberg Hospital early works in 2022-23.
It also outlined $30.1 million in 2022-23 out of a $97 million total spend to continue planning and commence early works to upgrade and restore Paradise Dam to its original height and capacity, as part of the $1.2 billion total spend for the project.
Other local highlights in the State budget included:
- $46 million to expand and improve social housing in the Wide Bay.
- $19.6 million in 2022-23 to replace the Childers-Degilbo-Gayndah 66kV electricity line to improve network safety and reliability.
- $750,000 in 2022-23 for the replacement of the high voltage and air conditioning system and chiller at Bundaberg Base Hospital.
- $9.3 million for the Port of Bundaberg conveyor project, $4.7 million for wharf redevelopment and $1 million for tug facility upgrades.
- $1.2 million in 2022-23 for Gin Gin State High School to upgrade the administration building.
- $2.7 million in 2022-23 for a new Agriculture and Horticulture Centre at Bundaberg TAFE.
- $925,000 in 2022-23 to build a new maker space centre at Bundaberg TAFE.
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the State Government was continuing its proud record of delivering extra health services.
“In 2020, I stood shoulder to shoulder with the Premier and we said a Palaszczuk Government would deliver a new hospital for Bundaberg,” Mr Smith said.
“That’s exactly what this $1.2 billion enables us to deliver.”
State budget hospital commitment welcomed
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed the Government's commitment to begin work on a new Bundaberg Hospital.
“It's fantastic after many years of increasing demand to see funds made available for the essential purpose of meeting our community's future health needs,” he said.
“I look forward to hearing more detail about the timelines and service plan for the new hospital.
“Thank you to the Member for Bundaberg, Tom Smith, for his work in advocating for this.”
Mayor Dempsey said he hoped Paradise Dam planning work was completed soon so that repair works could begin in earnest.
“Again, it's good to see funds provided in the Budget, but it's vitally important to get things under way as quickly as possible,” he said.
“We can't rely on good rainfall continuing into the future.
“I welcome every dollar of state and federal funding that comes into the Bundaberg Region.
“It's critical that we receive our fair share for roads, transport, infrastructure, mental health and housing.
“I'm not convinced there's enough being done to tackle the housing crisis in our community and will await further announcements in relation to this.”
The State budget papers can be viewed here.