Ambulance station project progressing

ANNOUNCEMENT: Former NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner with Gareth Ward and then Kiama Mayor Brian Petchler in 2015. Picture: Adam McLean

ANNOUNCEMENT: Former NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner with Gareth Ward and then Kiama Mayor Brian Petchler in 2015. Picture: Adam McLean

Plans are progressing for a relocated and upgraded Kiama Ambulance Station. 

NSW Health Infrastructure is proposing to construct a new ambulance station at 206 Terralong Street, Kiama, adjacent to the existing Kiama Fire Station.

In March 2015, then NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Kiama MP Gareth Ward announced that a re-elected Baird Government would invest about $5 million to begin the work to relocate and upgrade the Kiama Ambulance Station.

They pledged that the government was committed to detailed planning and work on the station, and it would begin in the next term.

At the time, Mr Ward said he would ideally like to see it co-located next to the fire station, but the location would be subject to the scoping study and consultation. 

Kiama Netball Association recently claimed the proposed new location already suffers from insufficient parking, especially during the winter sport seasons when netball, football and Leisure Centre patrons all vie for the limited parking available.

“NSW Health Infrastructure in conjunction with Kiama council have been working with the local community groups and in particular the Kiama Netball Association to consider the logistics, operational impacts and the safety issues identified as a result of the proposed new ambulance station at this preferred location,” council’s report said. 

“NSW Area Health have completed an extensive analysis of several locations within the Kiama area and due to their priority on response time, distance, traffic congestion and past reported health response callouts it was determined that 206 Terralong Street met all of their requirements and was the most suitable location for their new facility.”

Council’s report noted that a number of planning issues regarding the design have been raised that will be considered prior to the lodgement of the DA.

“Furthermore it is intended that as part of this negotiation the acquisition of their existing site at 39 Shoalhaven Street, Kiama and 61 Terralong Street, Kiama will also be considered as NSW Area Health have indicated that they are prepared to divest themselves of this property as it is surplus to their requirements,” council’s report said. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Kiama council resolved to authorise the general manager to negotiate the sale of 206 Terralong Street and the purchase of 39 Shoalhaven Street and 61 Terralong Street.

It has been proposed for some time that the current ambulance station site and surrounding precinct will be turned into a council-operated cultural arts centre. 

A Health Infrastructure spokesperson said Health Infrastructure have been working closely with Kiama council to develop a solution which enables the new ambulance station to be built, in addition to improving the overall safety of the parking arrangements surrounding the netball courts.

“The solution has been designed to provide no net loss of parking to the Netball Association and includes 36 new line marked parking spaces,” the spokesperson said. 

Following the council meeting, KNA secretary Kerren Britton commended the other parties on working with the association to create more dedicated parking. 

“Obviously we’re still concerned though, as there will still be more traffic in the area,” she said. 

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