A vision for Blacktown’s future as a centre for academic and medical excellence was the focus of September’s Greater Blacktown Business Chamber (GBBC) Business After Five networking meeting on Thursday.
It was hosted at Blacktown Hospital on behalf of Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospital. Guest speaker, former NSW Premier and Member for Toongabbie, The Hon Nathan Rees, gave an update on two projects spearheading the developments aimed at providing international standard training, local services and major employment opportunities.
They are the development of Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals as leading tertiary care facilities with excellence in patient care, health care professionals training, research and innovation and the establishment of a university campus in Blacktown.
Significant hospital expansion work was underway with major milestones set for completion in 2019 and 2020. New car parking is completed. A new building is under construction for emergency, intensive care, operating theatres, maternity, birthing, women’s health and paediatrics and due for completion in 2019.
Mr Rees paid tribute to the work of the hospitals’ General Manager, Sue-Anne Redmond, who he described as being “instrumental” in getting the extra hospital resources.
He said Blacktown Council had called for expressions of interest for establishment of a university campus in Blacktown. “Council is prepared to rezone land and provide land at concessionary rates to the right proponent or proponents,” he said.
“What we want is a proper suite of facilities that will enable young people and not so young people in Western Sydney, and Blacktown in particular, to be able to study here and ultimately work here.
“High profile jobs and a change to the culture and economic profile of Blacktown that we have been working towards for some time.”
Mr Rees, who has played a key leadership role advocating and negotiating for the university campus project from the start, said some 12 university Vice Chancellors across Australia had expressed interest. There is also international interest.
He commended the GBBC and its members for their continuing support of the projects and for “sharing the vision”.
See our photo coverage of the Blacktown Hospital event here.
Greater Blacktown Business Chamber’s next Business After Five networking meeting will be hosted by Novotel Sydney West HQ at Rooty Hill on Thursday 18 October 2018 from 5.30pm.
The 164-room hotel has eight multi-purpose event venues, on-site bar and restaurant. Bookings can be made here.