In excess of 40 people were in attendance at the final BeCA Public Meeting for 2013 last night (Monday). BeCA was delighted with this support, especially as there were many new faces in attendance. Many remained after the meeting to chat further with presenters and were able to discuss personal concerns with the appropriate dignitary and enjoy a hot drink and some snacks.
Kevin Hegarty (CEO of Sunshine Coast Health Service) spoke at length on the new Sunshine Coast Hospital. The much smaller “Private Hospital” opened yesterday (Mon) and the first procedure was under way at 8 am. By 10 am that procedure had concluded successfully.
When the project is completed in 2021 the complete Private and Public hospital will have almost 750 beds and have a staff of about 10,000. The “Private Hospital” section currently up and running on the site has a component to take “Public” patients.
The size of the new Public Hospital building will be about the size of Suncorp Stadium when completed. The overall size of the total project is amazing. It is expected the completed Public Section will be receiving patients in December 2016. The Private Hospital section is really quite small when compared to the overall completed project.
There has been interest from doctors all around the world wishing to make the Sunshine Coast their home and work in the hospital. The hospital will lift the Coast’s health self-sufficiency percentage from 85% to 95%. This means that almost all medical procedures can be carried out here on the Coast and patients would only need to travel to Brisbane for highly specialized procedures, e.g. heart transplants, serious burns etc.
There are two informative Youtube Videos which contain much of the information received at the BeCA Meeting. These videos provide the viewer with some idea of the magnitude of this project:
Overview PDF. You can download a 800kb PDF “Overview” file HERE or read the lower quality reproduction below:
Local MP Mark McArdle spoke on issues relevant to life on the Sunshine Coast. He also suggested the audience should not under estimate the effect the new hospital would have on life here with a huge influx of young professionals and families into the area.
Not only would the new hospital provide improved services for the community but it would also be a major research facility at the cutting edge of medical research and development.
With an ageing population Mark was at length to point out the danger that diabetes was to residents of the Coast. It is predicted the current level of people suffering from diabetes would treble in the next 10 years. Residents should increase their level of exercise (at least 30 minutes per day and walking was highly recommended), should monitor their dietary habits, quit smoking and reduce their intake of alcohol.
The Pumicestone Passage is a pristine water area which should be maintained at all costs. There was a need to protect migratory birds, to be extremely vigilant on any effect the Caloundra South development would have on the water way, and to stamp out any inappropriate use by negligent owners of certain water crafts (some irresponsible owners of Jet ski’s) using the area.
As a lifetime resident of Queensland, Mark pointed out the need for all residents to “Prepare” for the upcoming storm season. Residents should ensure they have a torch with new batteries, a battery operated radio and a fully charged mobile phone as a basic storm preparation pack. Residents should also check their insurance policies to ensure they are covered and be sure their flood cover is really ‘flood cover’.
And finally, Movember is a cause close to Mark’s heart and he touched on his own recent experiences with Prostate cancer. He urged all males to seek an annual check-up with their local GP.
Cr Rick Baberowski brought the audience up to date with numerous activities and celebrations in various towns of our very large Division 1.
He too reiterated the effect the development of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital would have on the whole Sunshine Coast. The influx of young professionals would fuel the growth of areas such as Caloundra South which would also have an impact on communities and businesses in towns such as Beerwah and Landsborough.
He believes the extension of the runway at Sunshine Coast Airport and the subsequesnt opening of the region to direct International flights, and the future Maroochydore City Centre Project were major developments the coast would enjoy in the near future.
Rick mentioned in closing that Council was now at the pointy end of de-amalgamation with 450 jobs now being re allocated back to the new Noosa Council. Many of these positions will become redundant as Noosa seeks to streamline its operation. This will cause pain for some local families.
Representatives of Stockland were also in attendance and spoke of an extension to Bellvista Blvd to accommodate the next stages in the development of Bells Reach. It was expected this would occur early in 2014. BeCA will be kept informed on these developments and will make all information available for residents.
The future of the Old Land Sales Office and the condition of Bellvista Blvd remain on the negotiating table regarding a Caloundra South infra- structure agreement discussion between SCRC and Stockland. We were advised not to despair, that these issues were still well and truly in the midst of negotiations.
Finally the BeCA President spoke of issues both large and small that BeCA was pursuing. Many of these issues had already come to a successful conclusion. The issues include the proposed Helicopter Satellite Training Facility and the apparent stalling of negotiations between Sunshine Coast Airport and the state Government, the use of heavy trucks servicing the Bells Reach development on Bellvista Blvd, park lighting issues at the new adventure playground at Bells Reach, and the situation of members of the SCRC Bellvista Gardening Team and de amalgamation.
The meeting closed at 8:30 and many stayed on for a chat and something to eat and drink.