Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke dug the first sod at the site of the new Murrumburrah-Harden Health Service today, marking a major milestone for the community.

The new Health Service is part of a $300 million NSW Government program and will deliver a range of emergency, inpatient, residential aged care, care in the community and ambulatory care services for the Harden-Murrumburrah community.

“This is such an exciting day and I’m delighted to have been invited to turn the first sod,” Ms Cooke said.

“The Harden-Murrumburrah community has been looking forward to this day and it’s fantastic to see the start of a new phase of healthcare here.

“This upgraded facility will provide flexible services to better respond to the health needs of the Harden-Murrumburrah community.

“Investment in health in our small communities is vital, and the value of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond healthcare – it’s about making sure our communities are able to access the services they need without having to travel.”

The project scope includes a purpose-built building with a new entrance from Scott Street. To make way for construction, the existing Day Service will be relocated to the Community Health building.

Plans for the older buildings have not been finalised. Health Infrastructure and the Murrumbidgee Local Health District will continue to consult with the community to consider the possible future of the remaining buildings.

“I know there is a lot of affection for the original buildings and I encourage the community to share their thoughts on what new uses can be found for them,” Ms Cooke said.

Health Infrastructure and the Murrumbidgee Local Health District will continue to keep the community and staff informed as the project progresses with community information sessions and newsletter updates.

There will be no interruption to the current health service while the new facility is under construction, which is expected to be completed in late 2020.