21.1 C
Byron Shire
December 9, 2021

Minister mute over Mullum Hospital land grab

Latest News

Jo Jo Smith back in town for one show only

It will be a night to remember with Jo Jo Smith back in town for a performance at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club this Saturday, 11 December.

Other News

Loft on Jonson Street

It’s been hotting up in town at the moment, in case you hadn’t been into Byron, it’s like people...

Pineapples from Bangalow

Bangalow Farm is located just outside the Bangalow township and has the typical red volcanic soil that makes farming...

Northern Rivers rental crisis worsens

Those advocating for people suffering from housing stress, homelessness, and poverty housing across the Northern Rivers region, say there is an urgent need for the federal government to invest in social housing.

Byron in crisis

The housing crisis in Byron Bay, and Australia in general, is urgent. There is no easy fix. Too many...

Barrio in Good Food Guide

Congratulations to our local favourite restaurant Barrio Eatery & Bar, who has just been named as ‘one of Byron’s...

Growing number of dogs

Thanks to Alison Drover for her informative article in last week’s Echo regarding the growing number of dogs in...

Hans Lovejoy

NSW health minister Jillian Skinner’s office has declined to comment over whether she supports a valuable piece of real estate being returned to the community after it was secretly transferred to her department in 2010.

Echonetdaily previously reported that records indicate that 115 years ago, a resident gifted the Mullum Hospital land to be always used as a health facility, and ever since, other community members have donated to building extensions and medical equipment.

Instead, Ms Skinner’s office referred the question to the Northern NSW Local Health District, and its outgoing chief executive, Chris Crawford.

Mr Crawford told Echonetdaily, ‘Currently, no final decision has been made on the future of the Mullumbimby Hospital site. In due course there will be community consultation regarding the future of the site. The first priority once the site becomes vacant will be the remediation and rehabilitation of the land to remove all asbestos that is currently present. If a decision is made to sell the site, the first call on any funds raised will be to pay for the remediation of the site.’

The Mullumbimby Hospital Action Group (MHAG) say that in January this year, Ms Skinner advised now-retired MP Don Page in a letter, ‘The Department of Health intends to sell the site with the proceeds used to offset the cost of remediation.’

The group is calling for the land to be used for aged-care facilities and services, housing for people with a disability, for women escaping domestic violence, social housing for vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Mullumbimby Hospital will become redundant in 2016 when the new Byron Central Hospital commences operation.

MHAG is advocating that the land be transferred from the Department of Health to the Housing NSW in the Department of Family and Community Services, after the asbestos removal and demolition process has been completed

The group believes that ownership by the Department of Family and Community Services would facilitate the site being used for additional aged care facilities and services, housing for people with disabilities, women escaping domestic violence and social housing.

Action group members Dr Michael Pelmore, Bev Kliger and Ross Tucker told Echonetdaily that in the northern rivers region, especially Byron Shire, ‘there is a dire need for safe, secure, affordable and appropriate housing for people at all different life stages – adolescence, young adult, families with children, women and young people escaping family violence, retirees and elderly people’.

‘At the same time increasing housing costs in Byron Shire, both home purchase and private rental, combined with the lack of public and non-government emergency, short term and long term housing is contributing to family and community breakdown,’ they said.

‘Older people and young people can no longer afford to live close to their communities, their family, their social networks and their health and service facilities and supports.

‘The adequate supply of appropriate affordable and social housing including aged care housing and facilities, in the Byron Shire, is a key infrastructure issue.

‘The lack of supply is now affecting many socio-economic levels of our local community from working families and singles to the most disadvantaged in the Byron Shire.

‘Moreover on Thursday September 17 2015, MHAG conducted a public meeting at the Mullumbimby Memorial Hall at which the 123 people who attended unanimously agreed to the use of the Mullumbimby hospital site for aged care and social housing.

‘The meeting resolved that: The Mullumbimby community demands that the Mullumbimby Hospital land be transferred from the NSW Minister for Health to the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing.

The Mullumbimby Hospital land then be used to develop a range of aged care facilities and services and housing options through public and community sector partnerships.

‘This would be a win-win for everyone. Any other proposal for the use of the Mullumbimby Hospital site is not supported by the community,’ they said.




Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NORPA announces stellar 2022 season

This morning in a special online event, NORPA revealed some of the adventurous, world-class shows that will transport audiences to different worlds in 2022.

Bulwinkle Park, Alstonville closed

Following strong winds overnight that led to the fall of a tree and fallen power lines Ballina Shire Council has temporarily closed Bulwinkle Park, Alstonville.

Amber blue-green algae alert Lake Ainsworth

Currently, there is an Amber alert for Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head.

Youth survey launched with prizes

Are you aged 12 to 24 and want your voice to be heard on important decisions being made about Byron Shire’s future?