PLANNING zone changes which will smooth the way for expansion of Warrnambool Base Hospital came into effect yesterday after approval by the state government.
Five sites owned by South West Healthcare to the east and west of the base hospital complex have been rezoned from residential to public use zone (health and community) to match the main hospital site zoning.
It includes sites in Ryot Street and Worland Grove where a $30 million regional radiotherapy centre and car park will be built along with a wellness centre wing.
The successful tenderer to build and operate this venture is expected to be announced next month.
Rezoning gives the government exemption from having to get a local council planning permit for health-based use or development of the land.
“This will have the effect of streamlining planning approval processes with commensurate administrative cost-saving for the responsible authority,” the announcement said.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved the amendment at the request of Health Minister David Davis “to allow for the future expansion and changing needs”. Mr Guy’s announcement said the radiotherapy centre would provide between 14 and 17 new full-time equivalent jobs in medical, allied health and administration and enable south-west residents to receive vital cancer services previously only available at venues at least two hours away.
Rezoning also covers a house on Koroit Street where the Centre Against Sexual Assault operates and a Hider Street building which is an outpatient facility for mental health services.
There are no plans to redevelop these sites as part of the hospital’s current masterplan, according to the announcement.