Update on NI Multipurpose Health Service project

Work is continuing on the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) Multipurpose Health Service (MPS) project. Following extensive community consultation, Lot 44a (the vacant parcel of land adjacent to the Norfolk Island Central School) was selected along with the existing NIHRACS site to progress for consideration by the Australian Government, as part of the budget approvals process.

The decision to progress these two options was made following assessment of the feedback provided by the community and stakeholders to KPMG and the project team in July last year, with the sites assessed against a range of criteria.

These included the ability of each site to deliver an appropriate level of safe and quality healthcare (guided by the 2019 Health Service Plan), the extent to which each site supports the best and highest use of assets, the costs to build on each site and community cultural considerations.

The village layout design for the residential aged care facilities on the existing NIHRACS site was determined to be more appropriate than the integrated residential aged care design which was originally proposed, reflecting community feedback.

The vacant land on Lot 44a has the larger footprint of the two site options and would provide enough room for future expansion, and possible co-location of additional community facilities. Delivering a new facility on a vacant site potentially offers patient and aged care residents comfort advantages as there would not be a need to build around an operating health service.

An alternative site for the Norfolk Island MPS would also open up opportunities for the community to explore future options for use of the existing NIHRACS site in its central location.

Community concerns about traffic impacts, given 44a’s location next to the school are acknowledged. Analysis on traffic flow will be one of the considerations for site selection.

As communicated previously, it is critical we are building the strongest possible case for consideration by the Australian Government to see this important project delivered on island in the shortest practical timelines.

Representatives of project manager KPMG and design services contractor, GHD were on island in May for site investigations. These technical investigations were targeted stakeholder discussions required to progress the Lot 44a site design option to a stage equivalent to the design for the NIHRACS site.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed their time to help inform the designs for the project. Your knowledge and expertise is supporting the best health outcomes for the community.

I will continue to update the community throughout the process. If you have any questions, please contact my office at office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
31 May 2022