SUTHERLAND HOSPITAL CAR PARK
Mr MALCOLM KERR
(Cronulla) [2.06 p.m.]: I draw to the attention of the House a matter that is of vital importance to the Cronulla electorate. Sutherland hospital has a critical parking shortage. The issue was not resolved by the introduction of paid parking. Since 2000 the Government has collected nearly $2 million from parking revenue without providing any increase in parking capacity for the hospital. Inadequate on-site parking and the introduction of paid parking have led to surrounding streets, such as Anzac Avenue and Hinkler Avenue, becoming de facto parking grounds for Sutherland hospital. Residents have had to endure blocked driveways and dangerously narrowed roads as a result of vehicles being parked on both sides of the road. The safety and enjoyment of local residents' property has been affected to a totally unacceptable level.
As if that were not enough, a development proposal by a private company for an aged care centre at the hospital has caused serious concern over even more parking problems. The proposal is for 112 beds but only 36 parking spaces for a daily staff of 48, with no provision for visits by patients' families, medical practitioners and other visitors. The proposal also fails to comply with height, floor space ratio, privacy and landscaping area requirements. Because the development is located on the far south-eastern corner of the hospital grounds, vehicle and pedestrian access also has been cited as a serious issue. Sutherland council has stated that the best option for a development on the site would be access from Hinkler Avenue. The closest residents in Hinkler Avenue who are most affected by the development have made a written offer to sell their properties to the applicant and the New South Wales health service. However, no response has been received. Residents of Hinkler Avenue have written to me stating, among other things:
A further reason for our opposition is that Crown Land has been virtually sequestered for a period of 40 years to accommodate the wishes of a private company who has no more right than any other commercial entity to this bonanza. To use the weak excuse that the Shire needs more nursing homes should not be considered as the nursing home providers have to obtain land at their own expense to erect the nursing homes. This company should not receive preferential treatment at the expense of the community simply because they do not wish to outlay the necessary capital expenditure to erect a building which is meeting so much opposition from the local residents and Council.
They also stated:
Objection issues have been well documented however one issue that has not received sufficient coverage is that the community will lose the potential of further Hospital development on this site for the value of $2.45 per bed per day (formula based on $100,000 rent per annum divided by 365 days divided by 112 beds) or $3.00 per day based on 90 beds. In addition the community will inherit a 40 year old building at the end of the lease as per the agreement made between Amity and the Sth. East Sydney Area Health Service. One would imagine the community would be stuck with the cost of major refurbishment or demolition. This does not sound like a good deal for the community.
Sutherland shire has one of the highest proportions of aged people in Sydney. In fact, 2006 statistics reveal that the shire has a population of 27,362 people over the age of 65, or more than 13 per cent of the entire population. For the past six years the member for Miranda has been busy promoting the new aged care centre to be built on Sutherland hospital grounds. In 2003 he said that the Sutherland Hospital Centre would be complete towards the end of 2004. The member for Miranda has gone to two State elections promising that a new aged care facility at Miranda is "on the way". The Miranda facility is to be located on the former five-hectare Sydney Water site at Bellingarra Road, Miranda, that was sold for an undisclosed amount. The residents of Sutherland shire are not getting any younger and I am sure they would like to learn from the State Government when the Miranda facility will eventuate and what plans the Government has to improve parking at Sutherland hospital.