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Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Service project update—alternative site considerations

The provision of best-practice, fit-for-purpose healthcare for Norfolk Island is a key priority for the Australian Government, which is why we are continuing to progress planning for Government approval of a new Multipurpose Health Services (MPS) facility for the Island.

As we move to the next stage of the MPS project, we are investigating potential alternative site options in addition to the current Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) site.

This exploration and consultation process is important due diligence, to provide assurance to the Government and community that we are best positioned to deliver a high quality new health facility for Norfolk Island in a reasonable timeframe.

We want community feedback on all three potential sites, to identify the benefits and challenges for each location. This work may also highlight opportunities for the development of future community resources and precincts.

Community input and feedback has been invaluable to the design development of the Norfolk Island MPS so far, and your ongoing involvement remains critical to the project’s success as it progresses.

Through a process informed by geotechnical information and data analysis, we have identified three potential locations for a new MPS – this includes the current NIHRACS location and two additional new locations. Key considerations for shortlisting these sites were central location, appropriate space for an MPS facility, construction suitability and site availability.

The three shortlisted sites for exploration with the community are:

  • the current NIHRACS site
  • the vacant land adjacent to the Norfolk Island Central School, Lot 44A
  • a vacant parcel of land next to the Norfolk Island International Airport.

A vacant site potentially offers time advantages for delivering the new facility over the existing NIHRACS site, as there would not be a need to build around an operating health service. An alternative site for the Norfolk Island MPS would also open up private sector opportunities for NIRC and the local community to explore future options for use of the existing NIHRACS site and its central location.

This investigation of alternative locations for the NIMPS will be informed by you, the community. We want to hear from you on the advantages and any issues for each site option including location, available space, infrastructure, community and cultural considerations and any other relevant information.

Consultations on what the community said you wanted in a new health facility and the input provided on the early stages of the design remain relevant, regardless of the final site location selected. While the project remains at its early design phase, this input is easily transferrable.

The consultant team will be on island from the week commencing 12 July 2021, to support myself and Departmental staff in our consultations with stakeholders and the community on the alternative site considerations.

Engagement opportunities will include stakeholder and public meetings, as well as online and hardcopy survey forms.

Community drop-in sessions are being arranged for the week of 12 July. Dates, times and locations for the sessions, along with the details for the survey distribution and return, will be available in coming days.

These consultations will feed into final site selection, supported by technical site information and logistical considerations.

I encourage all interested community members to put forward your thoughts on this next step in this critically important project. We must work with you, the community, to put to Government the strongest case for a new MPS for Norfolk Island, which delivers a new facility in the shortest practical timeframes.

Progression to the construction stage is subject to Government budget and Parliamentary approval processes anticipated to commence in late 2021.

If you have any questions or feedback in relation to the project, including the alternative site investigations under way, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au or phone 22152.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
17 June 2021