The NSW Government today 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 will house visiting specialists and medical staff in comfort while they are caring for our communities.
“As part of the 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.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the investment in health worker housing will save Local Health Districts the cost of accommodating visiting medical staff offsite.
“Each year, millions of dollars is spent by regional Local Health Districts to house visiting specialists and health staff for short stays while they conduct clinics or surgery,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Thanks to this accommodation initiative, those savings can now be reinvested back into vital health services for regional and rural communities for years to come.”
Hunter New England and Western NSW Local Health Districts will be the first to trial the facilities, which if well received could be incorporated at other sites across rural and regional NSW.
The $200 million Regional Recovery Package builds upon the NSW Government’s record investment in regional NSW through the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund and the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund and 30 per cent of the Restart NSW Fund.