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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Mullum hospital should be for community use, not the wrecking ball

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There’s an ominous air of doom surrounding the security fenced-off proud community asset of Mullum hospital which suddenly reached its ‘use-by date’ when the new Byron hospital opened.

The private security guard employed 24/7 at the cost of the good old taxpayer gives you a suspicious look when you roll up to peer in through the wire at the noble brick red matriarch.

One can sense the wrecker’s ball just waiting to lay ruin to that magnificent old building which should be heritage listed rather than turned into dust and rubble.

The sale of the prime real estate, a private donation by a generous local family last century, to go back into the state coffers. On the furphy that the building is riddled with asbestos. It’s not.

Wouldn’t it be great if Crs Sol Ibrahim, Dianne Woods, Rose Wanchap and the other two councillors could switch their determination to rush through a $1.8m rock wall (please check this figure is correct Hans…) against the tide of nature, to saving the hospital and turning it into a centre of old age retirement units (desperately needed for our aging population), a birthing unit for local mums who can’t have a safe hospital birth at Byron because its already too crowded and must travel north to Tweed hospital; a detox centre for the countless youth in our community who are in the vicious grip of Ice and other addictive drugs.

And a world’s best research centre for the emerging and obvious link between drug addiction and mental illness; a helping hand for those many silent parents in our community struggling with the shame and guilt of addiction and mental illness in our kids – anxiety, depression, drug psychosis that is wiping our kids either by suicide or drug related car accidents, or turning them into walking zombies for the rest of their lives.

Our youth are bleeding and dying in our midst in turning to drugs, rejecting the main paradigm that is on offer: ‘Get a job, get a mortgage, work your butt off for 40 years to pay it off. Consume. Then die. Thank you. Next!’

So Sol, how about stepping up to the plate and showing us the real man that you are?

Put the controversial rock wall on hold until the next election where you can take it on your ticket to the people and the rest of us will swallow it if the majority say they want the wall?

That’s democracy. Put your oratory and bush lawyer skills to good use that cavalierly dismisses whether future generations of councillors and ratepayers will have to pay for the crippling legal liability when the wall fails to work, erodes Elements beachfront as a result and they take us to court for millions.

Dianne, Rose in your dying gasps of this council, leave a genuine legacy behind you to be proud of: work to save the hospital for the people.

David Bradbury, Wilsons Creek

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  1. David,
    Well, put your skates on.
    Put out the call. Don’t let that building fall. Build on it and call a public meeting. Make sure there is enough seating. Save the old Mullumbimby Hospital for the old, the feeble, the injured, the wrinkled because sooner or later it is for us, the aging community, and all.

  2. We need a hospice and a resource base to provide palliative care within the Shire. The grounds could be planted in vegetables, herbs and flowers ( organic of course ) and have a dozen of so hens. A working kitchen to provide access to the residents carers and families to prepare the taste that hearten a human in the last stage of life. Many of us would be ready to contribute in what ever way we could.

  3. Len and David,
    count us in, we will come to the meeting, another option, how about turning the old hospital into a drop in centre with a kitchen to feed the hungry, and a few beds for the increasing number homeless people we see around Mullumbimby.
    So much need and so many possible uses for a building like that in our community , it would be a disgrace to see it go to waste, or the highest bidder.


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