State budget windfall for Northern Hospital
The Northern Hospital is the big winner in this year’s state budget, with $162.7 million set aside for its expansion.
The money will fund the completion of a seven-storey tower that will include 96 new inpatient beds, three new operating theatres and more treatment rooms.
The project will also include space for the future expansion of the hospital’s cardiology services, cath labs and medical imaging.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the expansion was at the centre of the government’s $428.5 million investment in hospital upgrades and equipment.
“These investments will mean better hospitals, better equipment and better, faster care for Victorians,” she said.
“We’re expanding the Northern Hospital so families know that they can rely on first-class care, close to home.”
The budget also includes funding to improve roads in Whittlesea, with $96.6 million set aside for the second stage of the Yan Yean Road upgrade and up to $139.4 million to expand Plenty Road.
Planning for a Hume Freeway interchange at O’Herns Road has been included as part of a funding package to tackle urban congestion.
New primary schools will be built at Yarrambat Park in Doreen and Aitken Hill in Craigieburn, while $70.5 million is allocated to acquire land for nine new schools in growth areas including Beveridge, Craigieburn South, Greenvale and Epping South.
A $26.9 million investment in the SES will allow the headquarters at four locations, including Broadmeadows to be relocated or redeveloped, while new headquarters will be built in six growth suburbs including Craigieburn north.
The government has also allocated $50 million to the Growing Suburbs Fund over the next two years to help build community projects in the outer suburbs.
Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins said the fund helped meet the immediate needs of growing suburbs, delivering playgrounds, parks and sports ovals.