A petition to redevelop Moree Hospital is now in the hands of Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
On Thursday, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall met with Mr Hazzard to press the case for the redevelopment of Moree District Hospital.
Mr Marshall collected more than 5,000 signatures from members of the Moree community at the end of last year, on his petition to fully redevelop the hospital.
Petitions were also presented from Glen Innes.
Armed with petitions totalling more than 8,000 signatures from both communities, Mr Marshall presented the Minister with the case for new and modern health facilities, stressing the critical importance of high quality health infrastructure in the region and how vital these services were to their local communities.
“I took forward very strong cases for both redevelopments, along with eight thousand letters and emails of support from the Moree and Glen Innes communities,” Mr Marshall said in a statement on Friday.
“I had to take an extra suitcase just to bring all the petitions and letters with me!
“I had a very good hearing and came away feeling optimistic. The strong response from the community showed that there is a huge demand for these new facilities and helped impress this upon the Minister.
“He was quite shocked with the volume of support and immediately recognised there was an appetite for these significant improvements.”
Mr Marshall launched the petitions for massive upgrades at both hospitals in October last year with estimates putting the Moree project at $80 million and Glen Innes at $20 million.
“These are significant projects and it’s a lot of money, but these two communities deserve to see the benefits of modern health facilities too, just as Armidale is now and Inverell is seeing being built right now,” Mr Marshall said.
“The Moree project is so vast – larger than Armidale and Inverell – that it may have to be done in stages to ensure the continuity of health services, but I told the Minister that we just wanted to see the colour of his money so we could get cracking on these two hospitals!
“He’s seen that we take the standard of our health facilities extremely seriously in the Northern Tablelands and that it is well and truly time for a commitment of funds to improve the health infrastructure and services in Moree and Glen Innes.
“I want to again thank every person who has supported the petitions and that I’ll keep swinging for both hospitals until I get an answer from the Minister.
“I’ll keep both communities well informed as to any progress.”