9.6 C
Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Old Mullum hospital to be demolished next month

Latest News

Michael Lyon elected as Byron Mayor

Owing to the resignation of former Mayor at the end of April, a vote was held today to replace Simon Richardson, until the next election

Other News

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

NewsCorp announces August revival of regional news print in QLD

Less than a week after the two major NewsCorp-owned outlets on the Northern Rivers lost their websites and redirected readers via The Daily Telegraph (TDT), sister publications in Queensland announced almost the opposite.

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

Plans to increase building heights in Byron CBD may be shelved

Byron Council’s controversial plan to increase building height limits on a block in the centre of Byron Bay looks set to be abandoned at this week’s planning meeting.

Humans suck

Hannah Grace, Ocean Shores I heard on the local news late this afternoon (April 20) that a 370kg tuna ...

False impressions

Fast Buck$, Coorabell I was under the impression that, upon the mayor resigning, the deputy mayor would automatically get the...

Byron Shire Council is set to take possession of the Mullumbimby Hospital site today (December 11), with demolition to commence in January 2019. Photo Aslan Shand

The purchase of the four-hectare Mullumbimby Hospital site from NSW Health will be finalised today (Tuesday December 11), after the NSW Government offered the property to Byron Shire Council for $1 in May 2017.

The demolition of the old hospital buildings is set to start in early January next year.

Given its history of asbestos contamination, the Council says its priority is now remediating the site, which includes the removal of asbestos and any other contaminated materials.

Contractors will take control of the site in early January and the remediation is scheduled to start on January 7.

Phil Holloway, Council’s infrastructure services director, said the contractors were ‘experienced in the demolition and remediation of contaminated sites like the Mullumbimby Hospital and at all times the health and safety of the community will be the main focus’.

‘The contractors will be using recognised best practice processes to remove the asbestos, with operations to be undertaken and contained in a special negative-pressure tent,’ he said.

‘Tweed Coast Demolitions and Excavations is managing the job with Aztech Services, the company used to remediate homes affected by the Mr Fluffy insulation in Canberra, to handle the asbestos removal.

‘There will be security measures in place and the site will be fully fenced for the duration of the remediation process which is expected to take approximately six months,’ Mr Holloway said.

Council staff and the demolition contractor Tweed Coast Demolitions are door-knocking residents and businesses in the vicinity of the hospital site, providing them with information about the project and leaving information in people’s letterboxes.

‘I know it’s a busy time of year but the purchase settlement is being finalised this week and when we have possession of the site we want to work as quickly as possible to remove the contamination,’ Mr Holloway said.

A community drop-in session will be held at the Left Bank Rd entrance to the hospital next Monday, December 17, from 4pm to 7pm.

What happens after the remediation is finished?

The Mullumbimby Hospital opened its doors in 1958 and for decades provided valued medical services and support to the community. It closed in 2016 when the new Byron Central Hospital at Ewingsdale was completed.

‘The old hospital holds a special place in Mullumbimby’s heart and the community fought hard to retain the site after it closed,’ Cr Basil Cameron, said.

For this reason Council, in October 2017, formed the Mullumbimby Hospital Site Project Reference Group (MHSPRG) to consider all potential uses of the old hospital and recommending to Councillors how the site should be used for the benefit of the community.

After 12 months of meetings and discussions the MHSPRG recently presented recommendations for the future use of the site to Council.

The MHSPRG came up with a range of recommendations including:

  • An innovative multipurpose facility that is designed to allow multiple uses for people of all ages and income levels;
  • It includes space(s) for consultation and may potentially include spaces for work, education, gathering, recreation, and a café, all intended to support residents and community, encourage social contact and develop with neighbours new relationships and opportunities;
  • An integrated mix of residential development that provides, and continues to provide, in perpetuity, housing that meets the needs of community members, including older people and people with diverse household incomes;
  • Exemplary, high quality design, especially architectural, landscape and urban design;
  • High levels of environmental sustainability;
  • Community-led governance mechanisms will be included, both for the project development stages and for the ongoing governance of the new site developments.

Cr Cameron, spokesperson for theMHSPRG, said every member of the group had the common goal of transforming the old site into ‘a valuable space that represents the community’.

‘The MHSPRG was made up of 21 representatives, including community groups, individuals and Councillors, and it has been a very challenging, complex project because the old hospital site has a strong history in our community – people want this connection to continue,’ Cr Cameron said.

‘Experts in urban planning and design also worked with the group,’ he said.

‘We also undertook consultation with the local community with an online survey and face-to-face opportunities at markets and shopping areas for people to talk to us about their vision.

‘While the remediation is being done Council staff will be looking at planning requirements to enable the redevelopment of the site,’ Cr Cameron said.

Comprehensive information about the remediation is on the website www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Projects-and-initiatives/Mullumbimby-Hospital-redevelopment


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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. What sad times to see this… I remember when it was being built. My children were born there, and it had its own helipad, and was self contained. When my mother, Phyl Richards, died in 1995, we donated her paintings (landscapes of the area) to the hospital, as she requested. She was a very well known local artist. I have no idea what happened to these paintings, or who has them, or if they’re still hanging in the hospital corridor, or rooms, as noone has contacted me.

  2. The new Mullumbimby War Memorial Hospital was opened in 1967 not 1958.I attended the official opening that day. This was closed in 2016.
    I was also employed here, Nursing in 1976.l
    In 1960- 1962 I was employed as a double certficated Nursing Sister (as we were known in those days), & we were still working in the 12 bed old War Memorial Hospital situated in Stuart Street opposite the Anglican Church, in Mullumbimby.
    My Mother, Bessie Dixon nee Dudgeon was born in the first Mullumbimby Hospital. It is a house at the bend of the Road at the end of Argyle St. Mullumbimby, as you enter Mullumbimby from the East.
    My Mother Bessie was also the Washerwoman at the Stuart Street Hospital for 10 years & did all the washing & ironing for 30/- shillings a week from 1942 – 1952.
    Just to set the record straight.
    Lorna Virgo nee Dixon.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Free mental health workshop for Byron businesses

Business owners in Byron Shire are invited to attend a free 'Healthy Mindset' workshop aimed at providing them with resources and tools to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business owners.

Trainspotters

Jillian Spring, Billinudgel In the article –  At a gathering of trainspotters, 21/4/21 by David Lisle, re Tweed Council Rail Trail, it is noted in...