Notice of motion to keep Cessnock Hospital upgrade on NSW Government's radar

'DESPERATELY NEEDED': Councillor Anthony Burke will table a notice of motion at Wednesday night's council meeting, advocating for an upgrade of Cessnock Hospital.
'DESPERATELY NEEDED': Councillor Anthony Burke will table a notice of motion at Wednesday night's council meeting, advocating for an upgrade of Cessnock Hospital.

A notice of motion advocating for Cessnock Hospital to be upgraded will be tabled at Wednesday's Cessnock City Council meeting.

Labor councillor Anthony Burke will put forward the notice of motion, which asks council to write to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, health minister Brad Hazzard and Hunter New England Health CEO Michael DiRienzo, requesting that the government review and prioritise an upgrade to Cessnock Hospital, and that more staffing and resources be urgently provided to support current staff and the Cessnock community.

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Cr Burke said the aim of the motion is to keep the hospital on the government's radar, after council was advised by Hunter New England Health in 2020 that it was in line for an upgrade.

"Not only is there wear and tear in the hospital, the resources available to staff is lacking and there is not enough staff at the hospital to service our community," Cr Burke's notice of motion states.

"The surgical theatres, wards, carpark, waiting rooms, amenities and much more desperately need urgent attention.

"In 2020 Hunter New England Health briefed council in advising that the Cessnock Hospital is in line for an upgrade. This motion is to ensure that the Cessnock community stay a high priority for Hunter New England Health and the NSW State Government.

"There are many services that the Cessnock community need to leave the area for. We desperately need the state government to review the services currently offered at Cessnock Hospital and increase the services to match our growing population needs."

Cr Burke's notice of motion will also ask that recognition be given to the growth of Cessnock Correctional Centre and the impacts and challenges it is having on the hospital.

The correctional centre's new access road will also appear on Wednesday's agenda, with an option for the design of the Occident and Kerlew Street intersection to be voted upon.

The council report recommends the residents' preferred design, known as Option 3, be approved; and that council allocate an extra $219,000 from the civil works reserve for the construction of the intersection.

Wednesday's meeting will be the last before council enters caretaker mode in the lead-up to the December 4 election.

A meeting will be held in November, however no major decisions can be made while in caretaker mode.