NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has upped the ante on his push to see a helipad constructed at Glen Innes District Hospital, lobbying Ministers intensely last week for funding to complete detailed helipad designs.
“Hunter New England Health says it won’t fund the cost of completing the detailed design plans for the helipad, so I’m going to find the money somewhere else to get it done,” Mr Marshall said.
“I won’t have the community using a single dollar of the more than $80,000 raised so far to do design plans – that money should rightly be put towards constructing the helipad.
“I still cannot believe the obstinateness of the health district in not supporting a project which is a high priority for the community. The community will fund the construction of helipad – we just want the plans – I don’t think it’s too much to ask.”
Despite his disappointment, Mr Marshall said he had secured a commitment from Hunter New England Health CEO Michael Di Rienzo.
“He agreed that if I could find the $20,000 the health district would do its part and complete the detailed design plans for the helipad,” he said. “This might not seem like a huge step forward to some, but it is progress and gives us now a clear path to achieving the helipad.”
Mr Marshall was busy last week ‘working the corridors’ of Macquarie Street during a sitting of Parliament, lobbying several Ministers for $20,000 to enable the helipad project to proceed.
“I received some very good hearings in my meetings but will continue to push ahead until I have the funds,” he said.
The MP praised the Glen Innes community and in particular the Glen Innes Hospital Auxiliary, which has been pursuing the helipad project vigorously.
“The Glen Innes community has enormous spirit and generosity, raising a huge amount of money so far, with more pledged if we can get the green light,” Mr Marshall said.
“I want to thank the Auxiliary for spearheading this campaign for almost the last two years and everyone else in the community who has been so patient – I am hoping they will not have to wait too much longer.
Mr Marshall will resume his lobbying work when Parliament resumes next week.
“I won’t stop until the funding is secured and we see the first soil turned on the helipad