Albury brain centre sites under review

Alison Hallahan at Greg Aplin’s office yesterday. She will help develop Albury’s $3 million brain health centre, including identifying a site. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

Alison Hallahan at Greg Aplin’s office yesterday. She will help develop Albury’s $3 million brain health centre, including identifying a site. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

A PREFERRED location for Albury’s $3 million brain health centre will be confirmed in October.

Consultant Alison Hallahan from BIRUU.Health has been engaged by Albury Wodonga Health to develop the project including the identification of an appropriate site.

Ms Hallahan recently prepared a service plan for the North East and Border Mental Health Service and also prepared the plan for the amalgamation of mental health inpatient and community-based services in North East Victoria, and services provided in Albury by Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Member for Albury Greg Aplin said a report on the project would be completed in October and would include recommendations to the NSW government and Albury Wodonga Health.

He welcomed the appointment of Ms Hallahan and hoped construction of the centre could start early next year.

“She is ideally placed with experience to undergo this next round of consultation,” Mr Aplin said.

“The next step is to talk to the stakeholders, look at the potential sites and prepare a plan.

“Looking at where the clients originate will be a consideration and obviously public transport is going to be an important element as well.

“The job of parliamentarians is to obtain the money to provide the service.

“But we then leave it to the experts to decide where that service can best be delivered.”

Ms Hallahan said her preference would be to have the brain health services located near other health services.

“It is best to set up near other services because that brings people in and makes it much more convenient,” she said.

“People with mental or other illnesses don’t just need health services.”

The brain health centre has been fully funded by the NSW government.

“It provides a different starting position to usual government initiatives and this will help expedite delivery of the service,” Mr Aplin said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mr Aplin yesterday said the visit to Albury by Roads Minister Duncan Gay could happen in the next fortnight.

Mr Gay is expected to announce funding for stage one Riverina Highway improvements.

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