NEGOTIATIONS are underway to sell off parts of the old Orange Base Hospital site Health Infrastructure (HI) announced yesterday.
In a written statement a HI spokesperson said talks are being held on the sale and future use of some of the smaller sites within the complex however would not confirm who the sale may go to.
“Details of these [negotiations] are confidential for the time being until negotiations are further advanced,” the statement said.
The site has remained dormant since it closed in March 2011 with ongoing maintenance costs a concern for some ex-staff of the old hospital.
A senior employee of the old hospital who asked not to be named said HI had around five years notice the site would move however it still sits unused and bordered up.
“It’s extraordinary to me after the new one opened, it was planned for five years,” the ex-employee said.
“It’s an eyesore and a waste of money.”
The old site could have been used to help relieve some of the city’s accommodation shortage according to the ex-employee.
“It’s disappointing, the building was in need of some maintenance work but surely it could have been used for nurses accommodation or undergraduate accommodation.”
“It just seems ridiculous to me since we’ve got an accommodation shortage.”
HI would not confirm the cost of ongoing maintenance or electricity at the site nor would they confirm if the site would be put out to tender.
“The site is fenced and electronic alarm systems are operating on site and a minimal amount of lighting is being retained for safety and security purposes,” the HI spokesperson said.
“Orange police and Health Infrastructure have developed an excellent relationship to ensure the site is adequately monitored and all other details of security are confidential.”
Health Infrastructure did confirm they have been in discussions with Orange City Council on “heritage issues” but would not confirm what these issues were.
Canobolas Local Area Command Inspector Dave Harvey said there were previous trespassing issues at the old hospital site but they have now been addressed.
Orange City Council spokesman Nick Redmond said a heritage study of the old hospital site will go to the next sustainable development committee on May 14.