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Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Page: 12443

Mr HAWKE (9:30 AM) —I rise to welcome the turning of the first sod on the $140 million Norwest Private Hospital development within my electorate of Mitchell. Radio 2GB personality Ray Hadley officiated at the commencement of the 23,255 square hectare hospital development, which is being constructed this year. The project comprises a four-storey private hospital with 170 beds; 10 operating theatres; a three-storey, strata titled 8,000 square metre medical centre; and parking for some 700 vehicles. It will be located in the Norwest Business Park. The facility creates a new benchmark by providing preventative, surgical and postoperative services for the north-west Sydney region.

I have spoken in this House before about the need to provide substantial infrastructure to growing areas of Sydney. Indeed, the north-west of Sydney has had about 150,000 people added to it in the past decade and we are looking at an additional 250,000 residents over the next two decades. There has been an increasing amount of talk and discussion about the need for a major category 5 hospital within the north-west of Sydney. Facilities at Blacktown and Richmond are certainly not meeting the needs and the growth that our area has, and the calls for a fully fledged hospital in our area will increase. I do want to record, of course, my appreciation of the existing Hills Private Hospital. In New South Wales, it is well known that if you wait for the state government to provide important facilities such as hospitals you will be waiting some time.

The great thing about this development is that it is a landmark facility. It will be one of the largest of its kind in the Sydney area. It will offer the Hills community an additional medical specialist service in emergencies. It will offer them additional services in intensive care, coronary care and maternity care, some of which are provided by the existing Hills Private Hospital. The federal electorate of Mitchell is the primary catchment area for this hospital, which will cover such suburbs as Annangrove, Baulkham Hills, Beaumont Hills, Bella Vista, Castle Hill, Glenhaven, Kellyville, North Rocks, Northmead, Rouse Hill and Winston Hills. Indeed, with such rapid growth in businesses and population and with the development that we are expecting in the Norwest Business Park—with an additional 23,000 employees to be added in the next 10 years—this facility will come into its own. I welcome its development in my electorate of Mitchell. I look forward to seeing the health needs of the north-west of Sydney being met by this new private hospital and I welcome the turning of the first sod of this development this week.