Southern Cross University welcomes $27.5m funding promise for Coffs Health Precinct

Published 28 April 2022
Artist Impression of the Coffs Harbour Health Precinct

Southern Cross University will provide state-of-the-art health clinic services for Coffs Harbour, with federal funding announced to complete stage 2 of the Health Services Precinct.

The $27.5m commitment would help fund a community health clinic with speech and voice labs, mental health and therapy rooms, rehabilitation and exercise studios and consultation rooms. 

Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin said the Coffs Harbour Health Precinct would also provide clinical placements for students, housing state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching facilities in bioscience, anatomy, physiology and chemistry and simulation labs to support STEM degrees.

“This is a truly exciting announcement for Southern Cross University. We are grateful for the opportunity to realise the vision for these new cutting-edge facilities that will attract students and support the development of the regional health workforce of the future,” Professor Carlin said.

“Importantly, these facilities will create local jobs, guarantee essential healthcare services and contribute to the growth and prosperity of the region.

“The University is committed to working closely with its partners and the community in the region to ensure the benefits of the funding are realised and that we support the development of a thriving future for the mid-north coast.”

The Stage 2 Coffs Harbour Health Precinct announcement this week came from the Minister for Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, and Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan who visited the University on Thursday 28 April 2022.

Coffs Harbour health precinct announcement(L-R) SCU Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin, the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan, Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce President Ray Smith, and SCU Vice President (Engagement) Ben Roche

“Coffs Harbour is one of four emerging North Coast Regional Cities with population set to grow by 25 per cent in the next 15 years,” Minister McKenzie said.

“This investment will deliver a vital health hub for the region to meet the increased demand for health services, and will help to future proof Coffs Harbour’s healthcare workforce which is essential for the region to continue to grow and prosper.”

Mr Conaghan said the proposal builds on the Government's initial $12 million investment in Stage 1 of the Precinct and recognises the growing needs of the community.

Stage 1 was officially opened in November 2019, with the Health Sciences Building providing students, teachers and researchers with state-of-the-art allied health facilities, strengthening the city’s in-demand graduate workforce in exercise science, occupational therapy, psychology, nursing, midwifery and now speech pathology.

“More than 150 jobs will be created during construction, and we expect an additional 800 students in the first five years will be able to study here, adding not just to the local population but the visitor and tourist economy as well,” Mr Conaghan said.

Pro Vice Chancellor Research Infrastructure Professor Les Christidis said the Coffs Harbour Health Precinct added to an already impressive education precinct, with Southern Cross University, TAFE, a senior college and National Marine Science Centre located near an airport and international stadium.

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