NSW Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced a $170,000 grant to refurbish the Cootamundra Hospital Palliative Care Unit, helping to make patients, families and carers more comfortable.

“No one wants to end their days in a facility that feels sterile. This grant from the NSW Nationals in Government will attempt to improve conditions for people who are sadly in the final stages of their lives by giving them a place that feels more like home,” Ms Cooke said

“These refurbishments will help our amazing hospital staff continue to do their work and give people a much more comfortable environment to spend time with their loved ones.”

In addition to the hospital upgrade, work has commenced on the new Cootamundra Ambulance Station with a sod turning ceremony. The facility is part of the $122 million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration (RAIR) program.

Ms Cooke broke ground on the site, which will feature internal parking for up to four emergency ambulance vehicles, administration and office areas, staff amenities, relief accommodation and other facilities.

“This facility has been designed with the input from our local paramedics, so it’s tailor-made for this community,” Ms Cooke said.

“It’s a station that will cater to the future medical needs of Cootamundra and is part of the biggest upgrade of rural and regional NSW Ambulance infrastructure in the history of the service.

“Out of 24 new or upgraded Ambulance stations in the state, seven are in the Cootamundra Electorate. The NSW Nationals in Government are investing in the health of regional communities.”

The Cootamundra station will be the first in the state to feature a Photovoltaic Solar Energy System. It will be part of a pilot program with two other stations around the state to gather data on the return on investment of solar panels.