Maple marks milestone for hospital

A CACOPHONY of clanging and banging provided a fitting soundtrack to a ceremony to mark an important milestone in the $220 million Tamworth hospital redevelopment.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner was joined by numerous dignitaries for a service that saw a Japanese maple tree hoisted atop the five-storey building.

The tree – representing growth and good luck – will eventually be relocated inside the completed building where it will take pride of place.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson, former New England MP Tony Windsor and Tamworth hospital general manager Brad Hanson were among those in attendance.

Mrs Skinner said: “Just nine months ago I was here to turn soil for the beginning of works on this vital redevelopment and it is incredibly exciting to be here again today to see this building take shape so quickly.

“Kevin Anderson and I made a promise to the people of Tamworth and it is with great pride we can be here today to see our commitment growing from the ground.”

Mr Anderson said the redevelopment was tracking “on-time and on-budget” and had created about 2200 direct and indirect construction jobs locally.

“It will provide those people or patients that need to access health services with the ability to do it right here at Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital,” he said.

Mrs Skinner also took the opportunity during her visit to Tamworth to unveil a plaque for the $41 million North West Cancer Centre.

The majority of the redevelopment, which was made possible through $100 million from the state government and $120 million from the federal government, is expected to be completed in March 2015.

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