New life for Mullum hospital site after $3million clean up
THE deal for Byron Shire Council to purchase the old Mullumbimby Hospital site has been done now council will has appoint one of Australia's leading remediation experts to clean up the site including the removal of the asbestos, which is expected to cost more than $3 million.
The site was bought from NSW Health for just $1 but Council will be looking to generate a return from the property to defray the hefty clean up fee.
"Given the costs of remediation it is important that future generations are not burdened with the expense which is why we will be looking to generate a return from some of the site,” Chair of the Mullumbimby Hospital Site Project Reference Group (MHSPRG), Cr Jeanette Martin said.
"Since mid-2017, the 21-member MHSPRG has met to provide advice and recommendations to Council on the best outcome for the site, considering the wellbeing of the whole community, the environment and future generations.
"Our community has had a strong sense of ownership of the site since the original hospital opened in 1969.
"It's important that what happens on the site is community-initiated and implemented and the MHSPRG is exploring ideas that realise its social, environmental, and economic potential.
"We know it's a valuable site with some ideas for future uses including affordable housing, child care, commercial use, community facilities, education, environmental facilities, mixed-use development, recreation and residential care.
Cr Martin said the remediation contractor would comply with all NSW legislation for the safe removal of asbestos including strict Environment Protection Authority (EPA) requirements.
"The safety of our community is the most important consideration in this process and there will be extensive consultation with nearby residents, community organisations and stakeholders about the process, what will be happening, when and how.
The remediation of the site is expected to take some six months and could start as early as October.
A comprehensive community engagement process will be rolled out shortly.
The Mullumbimby Hospital was closed in May 2016 when the new Byron Central Hospital opened.