Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis highlighted the NSW Nationals’ success in delivering health services as he called for more investment in his electorate.

The NSW Nationals MP said health was “without doubt the number-one priority” for the Nationals in Government, as he called for major upgrades to Grafton and Casino hospitals.

“The Clarence and Richmond valleys have greatly benefited from the Nationals in Government’s public infrastructure spend,” Mr Gulaptis said in Parliament. “Health has been a major focus of this Government since 2011 [and health] will account for about $24 billion of the Budget this year, which is one-third of the total Budget.”

Health infrastructure developments and future needs in the Clarence and Richmond Valleys were the focus of Mr Gulaptis’ speech in the NSW Legislative Assembly this week, as he singled out new health facilities in Yamba and Coraki as proof the Government was delivering locally on health.

He cited an ambulance station at Iluka and a helipad for Maclean Hospital as high priorities and pointed to good progress on the planning of a new health centre in Evans Head and a $17.5 million boost for a new outpatient service at Grafton Base Hospital.

“The new facility at Grafton will deliver a comprehensive range of services including renal dialysis, specialist outpatient clinics, allied health services and an improved oncology unit for cancer care and other services,” Mr Gulaptis told Parliament. “I will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of my community for continued funding to improve health services across my electorate.”

Mr Gulaptis said that given regional growth driven by investment from the Nationals in Government — like the new jail and bridge in Grafton and big job-creating projects in the Richmond Valley — health needed to be on the Government’s radar and were high priorities of his and that of the Northern NSW Local Health District.