11 June 2021

Deputy PM says Moruya bypass won't impact funding for Eurobodalla Hospital

| Hannah Sparks
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Warren Sharpe, Liz Innes, Kristy McBain and Michael McCormack at Eurobodalla Shire Council chambers in Moruya

From left: Eurobodalla Shire Council’s infrastructure director Warren Sharpe, Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes, Eden-Monaro MP Kristy McBain, and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack at Eurobodalla Shire Council chambers in Moruya. Photo: Supplied by Carmen Bellis.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack confirmed the development of Moruya Bypass won’t impact funding for the new Eurobodalla Hospital during a visit to Moruya on Thursday, 10 June, to re-announce funding for a 3000 megalitre dam west of Bodalla and new funding for the Snowies Iconic Walk.

Some community members expressed concern the bypass could take away funding for the hospital, especially if the project’s cost blows out.

The NSW Government is responsible for funding the new $200 million Eurobodalla Hospital in Moruya and 20 per cent of the bypass.

The bypass forms part of the $1.5 billion Princes Highway corridor upgrades but the budget for the project hasn’t been announced.

However, Mr McCormack said the Federal Government will hold up its end of the bargain and fund 80 per cent of the bypass.

READ ALSO Moruya Bypass explainer: How was the route chosen and what are the concerns?

“People aren’t going to miss out,” he said when asked if the bypass could supersede the hospital.

“Roads infrastructure is allocated under a bucket of money the Commonwealth feeds into. In the case of regional infrastructure, as far as roads are concerned, it’s an 80/20 per cent federal/state contribution.”

A rural block east of Moruya TAFE, between Albert Street and the Princes Highway, was confirmed as the site for the new Eurobodalla Hospital in December 2020.

The new hospital will combine Eurobodalla’s two existing hospitals – Moruya District Hospital and Batemans Bay Hospital – and the chosen site will eventually have connectivity to the bypass.

Mr McCormack was also in town on Thursday to talk about the $51.2 million funding announced in May’s Federal Budget for the dam near Bodalla.

The proposed facility is unlike a traditional dam in that it is off-stream with water pumped to it from the Tuross River.

Pumping can be maximised in times of high river flow following heavy rainfall, while reduced pumping in low river flows will help sustain the natural river system.

Mr McCormack said it will improve water security for downstream primary producers, the 4000 people who call Moruya home, and for future disasters such as bushfires.

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