Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is pressuring the State Government to act decisively and resolve a 16-year battle over the abandoned and derelict Old Walcha Hospital site.
Mr Marshall was joined by Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes and Acting General Manager Phil Hood at the old hospital yesterday to see firsthand the abysmal state of the buildings.
“Since the hospital was decommissioned more than 15 years ago, it has been the site of vandals, trespassers and squatters, with local police making daily scheduled visits,” Mr Marshall said.
“The old hospital was closed in June 2007 when a new modern and purpose-built Multi Purpose Service opened at a new location in town.”
“It has since become the focus of a longstanding Local Aboriginal Land Claim, which remains undetermined.”
“There is also a significant amount of disturbed asbestos on the site.”
Mr Marshall said the old hospital sits on a hill overlooking Walcha and was a focal point for much of the town as well as prime real estate.
“The abandoned buildings today only seem to have one use, as a thrill-seeking adventure for youngsters who get their kicks out of hits on social media,” Mr Marshall said.
“I have made representations to the Minister for Health Ryan Park on behalf of the Mayor and the Walcha community to resolve this as a matter of urgency and get the whole site cleaned up so it can be used for something positive.”
“Whether this is social housing, an aged care facility or to be developed as residential properties, the community just want this eyesore removed.”
“This is a high priority for the Walcha community and as their newly-minted MP, following an electoral redistribution in March, I am determined help to find a solution.”
“I hope the Minister will intervene and resolve this 16-year battle for the people of Walcha.”
Image: Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Acting General Manager Phil Hood outside the abandoned and derelict Old Walcha Hospital.
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