The NSW Nationals in the state government have announced a $35 million Regional Housing Package which will drive construction in the regions and deliver critical health accommodation improvements.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the package is part of the $200 million Regional Recovery package which will deliver long-term support and certainty for the regions as the state reopens.
“Attracting and retaining health staff to regional and rural areas is a challenge nationwide for many reasons. This is about delivering convenient and comfortable accommodation to help overcome this,” Mr Toole said.
“The bulk of this investment will deliver modern, stylish and sustainable accommodation close to our health facilities, which ill house visiting specialists and medical staff in comfort while they are caring for our communities.
“As part of this package $5 million has been allocated to deliver Regional Housing Delivery Plans, working with local councils, industry and regional communities to develop practical, local solutions to manage their housing needs.”
Each year, millions of dollars are spent by regional Local Health Districts to house visiting specialists and health staff for short stays while they conduct their clinical work and surgeries. This new accommodation initiative will see that money reinvested back into vital health services for regional and rural communities for years to come.
This initiative will be first trialled in the Hunter New England and Western NSW Local Health Districts, with plans already in place for the manufacture of close to 80 high end modular and relocatable residential accommodation units across these two areas.
The NSW Government’s Public Works Advisory will use, where possible, locally based regional contractors, including Aboriginal businesses, to undertake local site works.
The $200 million Regional Recovery package builds upon the NSW Governments record investment in regional NSW through the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund and the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund as well as 30% of the Restart NSW Fund.