First of all, I would like to mention that I do fully support this project and thank you for your time invested so far into ensuring this project gets underway.
I do have four points I would like to put forward in this submission;
I understand that NSW Heath will still have provisions for the children's park on the cnr of North and Shoalhaven street and it will be upgraded. Would it be possible that the community could see a detailed scope/ design for the playground rebuild and an budget allocation? The reason I’m asking is that I believe this will be a such an asset to this location and if the playground can be of a decent size and clever inclusive design (Could possibly get some ideas from Boongaree) the newly constructed park at Berry NSW, I believe it will be such a valuable space for families travelling long distances to have treatment at both the Shoalhaven hospital but also the Cancer Clinic. Siblings/ family members can take a time out from the hospital and put a smile on their face with a beautiful/ fun outdoor space. Again, like Boongaree, some native landscaping design around the playground would really make this space be a welcome space for all to enjoy. I was thinking along the lines of sandstone rock sculptures, water fountains, native garden beds, plenty of scattered seating, soft fall, shade/ BBQ gazebo and info on the local flora and fauna. I’m concerned that the final product could not be as great as this prominent location deserves. And once the decision is made, it is very hard to make changes after project completion.
2 - My other concern and second point in my submission, would be to address the roads surrounding the current and proposed site of the hospital redevelopment. I do understand that this is primarily a responsibility of Shoalhaven City Council, but I’m concerned that they will not be able to make proper repairs to these roads as they are so stretched with our current climate/ financially and also large workload. I would imagine that there will be increased heavy vehicle traffic down both Shoalhaven and North streets during the construction process. Cranes, Concrete agitators, semi-trailers, large delivery rigid trucks etc. The current state of the roads is very poor and I’m proposing that NSW Health includes a full upgrade to the sections of Shoalhaven and North Streets – This would be to be constructed of a ‘hot mix’ style bitumen, not a spray seal on the existing to ensure longevity. We have to take into consideration these roads are vital, as are critical entry/ exit points for Ambulance and patient transport.
My third point would be to have some consideration into smoking facilities onsite. I do understand that NSW Health have a blanket rule which is NO smoking onsite, I can appreciate this, but when a large volume of visitors, contractors and staff do still smoke cigarettes and unfortunately the place they end up is on the street and the majority of the butts end up on the footpath and gutter. With the Hospitals location so close to the beautiful Shoalhaven River I think that we need to think of a space that smokers can go so we can minimize impact of smoker's rubbish ending up in the river. This would also reduce the impact of non-smokers utilizing the community footpaths, walking dogs or pushing prams having to push through a cloud of secondhand smoke.
My fourth and final submission point would be a community garden integrated into the design. I believe a community garden would be a huge asset for NSW health, neighboring community preschool, and the local community. A small area of the procured Nowra park be set-aside for raised garden beds/ small shed and paving. The garden could be run by volunteers and ongoing maintenance could be through fundraising. The community preschool could be actively involved, and fresh produce is sent back into the kitchen of the Hospital and preschool.
Thank you for your time and I do hope my submission is considered,