Hawker hospital upgrades complete

FUNDING: Hawker Memorial Hospital has received a $110,000 upgrade. Photo: SA Health.
FUNDING: Hawker Memorial Hospital has received a $110,000 upgrade. Photo: SA Health.

Upgrades to the Hawker Memorial Hospital, including improved nurses' quarters, a community room and renovated bathrooms and laundry, are complete and delivering improved services to staff, patients and visitors.

The $110,000 improvements are part of the federal government's Community Benefit Program for communities considering the site of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).

General Manager of the NRWMF Taskforce Sam Chard said the improvements at Hawker Hospital highlight the benefits of community participation in the grants programs.

"These improvements arose following community brainstorming about what would be most beneficial for the hospital and local area," Ms Chard said.

"It is great that these upgrades are now complete and delivering real benefits to the local community.

"Now that we are at the beginning of consulting about another $4 million round of grants, I look forward to seeing what projects the community suggests next."

Other improvements at Hawker Hospital included as part of the funding were extra seating for elderly patients, and increased security and privacy for the community room.

An additional benefit from the improvements was the use of local contractors to complete the work, and increased communication between the hospital staff and local community.

Under the Community Benefit Program announced in 2018, $5.76 million has helped with 57 projects and initiatives in the communities considering the NRWMF.

A new funding program of $4 million was also announced by the Australian government in October.

The funding has been made available in recognition of the delay in the site selection process and to support communities that are considering the facility.

A community ballot is currently underway in the District Council of Kimba and results will be announced on whether residents support the construction of a nuclear waste facility at one of the two sites on November 7.

The Flinders Ranges Council will hold a similar ballot over a third proposed site at Wallerberdina between November 11 and December 12.

If one or both of the communities vote yes a final site could be named by the end of the year.