Yass Hospital maternity ward still a 'critical issue' for Labor

New South Wales party leader Jodi McKay wants to win the Goulburn electorate in 2023.
New South Wales party leader Jodi McKay wants to win the Goulburn electorate in 2023.

Returning maternity services to Yass Hospital remains a "critical issue" for Labor, New South Wales party leader Jodi McKay said during her first visit to Goulburn on Wednesday.

Both federal and state Labor promised funding to build a maternity ward at the rural hospital during the 2019 election. That funding was, of course, lost when the Liberal-National coalition retained both governments.

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The need for women to travel to Canberra hospitals to deliver is the reason for Labor's concern and support for the issue, Ms McKay said.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman hit back at Ms McKay's comments.

"Labor keep talking about maternity services in Yass but we all know it was a (NSW) Labor government that closed Yass maternity in 2004," she said.

Investment in education infrastructure in the Yass Valley is also needed from the NSW Government, Ms McKay said.

Liberal member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman had promised in the March election $9 million to build a new hall at Yass High School. The multi-purpose hall was listed in the NSW budget 2019 but that there was no figure.

Mrs Tuckerman has also committed funding to plan a Murrumbateman primary school, which was in the budget.

Yass Valley's population is expected to reach 23,400 by 2036, from 17,150 in 2016.

"If you've got a population earmarked to double, you've got to have school infrastructure in place," Ms McKay said.

"Infrastructure is always the last thing that's planned."

Member for Goulburn Mrs Tuckerman labelled Ms McKay's visit as a "media stunt", highlighting how she "couldn't even spell one of our town's (Murrumbateman) names correctly," in a media release.

"Not only has the NSW Government invested $6.7 billion over the next four years to deliver more than 190 new and upgraded schools and a record $1.3 billion being spent on school maintenance. There's also the $304 million statewide program of works to upgrade existing health facilities in NSW's rural and remote areas, plus the $122 million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration investment," Mrs Tuckerman said.

"Many projects from these investments are already happening and nearing completion!"

As the opposition, Ms McKay wasn't able to make any commitments to the Yass Valley on Wednesday.

Labor's duty member of the Legislative Council for Goulburn, Tara Moriarty, will be in the Yass Valley next week with the NSW shadow treasurer. Photo: Steven Saphore

Labor's duty member of the Legislative Council for Goulburn, Tara Moriarty, will be in the Yass Valley next week with the NSW shadow treasurer. Photo: Steven Saphore

"We're three-and-a-half years away from an election, so making outright commitments is something we can't do right now, but what we would say is that we are very supportive of infrastructure coming before population growth, which is very much around the schools," she said.

The Goulburn electorate was a key seat for Labor in the March election and will be again in the 2023 election.

The party achieved a 3.1 per cent two-party preferred swing in Goulburn in March.

"We want to try and win this seat in 2023," Ms McKay said.

Yass and Murrumbateman will be getting a lot of attention from Labor, the party's duty member of the Legislative Council for Goulburn, Tara Moriarty, said while visiting Goulburn with Ms McKay on Wednesday.

The NSW shadow treasurer Walt Secord will be in the Yass Valley on Tuesday, Ms Moriarty said.

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