Hospital move raised again - but still no money

Plans for a new flood-safe hospital for Katherine released this week were actually detailed years ago and remain to be funded.
Plans for a new flood-safe hospital for Katherine released this week were actually detailed years ago and remain to be funded.

The NT Government has confirmed its preferred location for a new Katherine Hospital.

But the location was actually identified years ago and remains to be funded or even rated a high priority by successive governments.

Like much of Katherine, the hospital was inundated during the devastating 1998 flood.

The government now says the existing hospital on the Katherine River bank would not be moved unless “future investigations establish that flood mitigation infrastructure to protect the existing facility is not feasible or economically viable”.

Recent plans for new levee banks did not include the hospital although prominent citizens have suggested that it should have.

The preferred location was detailed in a 2014 report, and even before, in flood safe Katherine East.

The hospital would be part of a second commercial centre long planned but as yet not started off Chambers Drive, near St Joseph’s College.

A 2014 study said the “Chambers Drive site will be readily accessible to all residents and to the many tourists visiting Katherine Gorge, will minimise the impacts of additional local traffic on the Stuart Highway and create potential synergies with the future health precinct.

“The NT Planning Commission has commenced a program of community engagement that aims to deliver a draft Area Plan for Katherine East in 2019,” a government spokeswoman said yesterday.

“This work will include an infrastructure servicing strategy and a framework for residential development of Crown land adjacent to Chambers Drive and the proposed hospital site.”

Plans for a new hospital were included on a 10-year plan released by the Government this week.

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