CHARLES Sturt University’s push into health education is set to be given a boost after plans were lodged for an $8.3 million complex at the Bathurst campus.
The university has lodged a development application for a health services and education facility.
The size of the development means Bathurst Regional Council is the consent authority and the final go-ahead will rest with the Western Region Joint Regional Planning Panel (JPP).
It includes the mayor and general manager of council as well as three government-appointed representatives.
Another project also on council’s books which is being referred to the JPP is the $6 million development of a new harness racing facility near Mount Panorama off College Road.
Bathurst Regional Council general manger David Sherley said the CSU development application “involves the construction of a health services facility within the Community Engagement and Wellness Precinct on the Bathurst campus.
“This is a very important development for our city,” Mr Sherley said.
“It’s significant in that it’s another sign of CSU responding to the needs of rural communities it operates in.
“It has particular regard to medical services and a precursor to the university being able to establish a medical school here.
“It really is a show of good faith that they are deadly serious about getting that medical school here.”
CSU vice-chancellor Andrew Vann said the community engagement and wellness clinic was being funded by Health Workforce Australia.
He again emphasised the initiative was part of the ongoing process for CSU to establish a new, rurally-focused medical school.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole said the health precinct at CSU was all part of the Doctors for the Bush push to have a medical school based out of the local campus.
“It’s an exciting development and one which is unusual for a regional centre,” he said.
“It really has the potential to enhance health services in the Bathurst area.
“We’re looking at big money, but in the bigger picture it has the potential to offer big returns for a city like ours, especially when it comes to attracting doctors to the region.”