Ambulance Trevor Veale

Did the State budget deliver for Iluka?

ILUKA Ambulance Group organiser Anne McLean said it was the words that Iluka needed to see.

"Projects to commence prior to March 2023, including Iluka Ambulance Station (ETC $10 million)" sit pride of place under the election commitments section of the NSW Budget.

"It's the news Iluka needed," Ms McLean said. "Six months have gone by and there's been nothing. And (husband and co-organiser) John and I have been still nipping at their heels. We haven't given up. We've been constantly at them."

Ms McLean said she was happy to hear the news from member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis on Tuesday morning, and had been busily answering questions from the media all that morning."

"Chris has been great through the process, he rang and had a chat," she said. "But we have been saying that Iluka got behind them because of the ambulance, and it's good to see the validation of that faith, and see it move along.

"It's been a crazy morning."


Ann and John McLean enjoy a quiet moment after they learned their campaign to get an ambulance station to Iluka had succeeded.
SUCCESS: Ann and John McLean enjoy a quiet moment after they learned their campaign to get an ambulance station to Iluka had succeeded. Adam Hourigan

Ms McLean said she had been told they were looking to find a suitable site, and then to put it out for community consultation.

"I don't think they'll have much trouble getting people to say 'yes'," she said.

Ambulance NSW yesterday confirmed the process was under way, and planning would continue this year and into next year.

"In 2019-20 detailed service planning will progress; site acquisitions studies will be finalised and a suitable site acquired subject to the findings of these studies; design will be finalised; and a development application submitted," a NSW Ambulance spokesperson said.

"Construction would be anticipated to commence in 2020-21 following tendering and awarding of the work. The construction timeframe is estimated to take about two years to complete.

"This is consistent with the government's election commitment to commence 29 health projects in the current term. The project will include usual stakeholder consultation and community engagement, supported by project communications to keep stakeholders informed."

Ms McLean said she would continue to follow through the project, and hoped that more paramedics would be attracted to the area to work in a newly completed station, including one of her granddaughters who is completing pre-entry paramedic training.

"It's all she wants to do," she said. "Her mother is a nurse but she wants to work in an ambulance, and she said she'd love to come and work here."