A message from Michael
These past two years, I have had the honour and the pleasure of serving the Upper Hunter electorate. As part of the Nationals in Government, I’ve delivered significant investment into our rural and regional communities, as successes of our first term continue into our second term.
Upper Hunter is a diverse seat, both geographically and socially, but as I enjoy pointing out it is blessed with ‘the best wines, mines, equines and bovines’ that NSW – if not Australia – has to offer. Despite these blessings in industry, the demand for the delivery of services can be an ongoing challenge but one our National Party has been able to meet.
Rural and regional health facilities are both a priority for our Party and for the NSW Government with this focus actioned in the Upper Hunter in the recent NSW Budget. It gives me great pleasure to write about the significant investment in two important regional hospitals in the electorate, namely the Muswellbrook and Singleton hospitals.
The Muswellbrook Hospital redevelopment is currently in its second stage, which involves the expansion and refurbishment of the southern side of the hospital, with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities being delivered to address the region’s changing health needs.
Funded by the Restart NSW Resources for Regions Program to the total of $21.5 million, Stage 2 of the Muswellbrook Hospital Redevelopment will deliver a range of health service improvements including:
- Larger treatment spaces and additional treatment chairs for renal dialysis and chemotherapy;
- Improved spaces for medical imaging and pathology collection;
- Refurbished outpatient areas;
- Oral health facilities;
- An enhanced space for patients attending Muswellbrook Hospital for day surgery; and
- Improvements to the main entry, reception and admission areas.
Our local community is set to benefit from a $7 million upgrade of Singleton Hospital, which began earlier this year, with these upgrades expected to be fully operational by the end of this year.
Further to that funding, the Rural Minor Works program provided an additional $450,000 which will be used to complete the extension, and refurbish existing imaging services at Singleton Hospital.
Community feedback that I have received regarding these investments are not just positive but grateful for the service delivery that is becoming a hallmark of the Nationals in Government.
As we have now passed the halfway mark before the next state election in 2019, I look forward to continuing to work hard for the Upper Hunter Electorate, and ensure that our Party’s message and its achievements in Government are delivered to all in the constituency while keeping the voices of Upper Hunter locals loud and clear in Parliament.
Michael Johnsen MP
Member for Upper Hunter