Mercy Hospital preferred location for Albury brain health centre

Greg Aplin

Greg Aplin

ALBURY'S $3 million brain health centre has been resurrected with the Mercy Hospital the preferred, but still to be confirmed, location.

Three years ago Albury was announced as being the site for the first facility of its type in regional NSW.

But the project has sat in limbo with a blame game commencing between some of the key players in the project including the Victorian Government and member for Albury Greg Aplin.

The Border Mail revealed earlier this year there was still no site selected despite the initial funding announcement being made in 2014 by Mr Aplin.

But Mr Aplin confirmed on Monday an announcement was imminent.

Mercy Health Albury is not owned by Albury Wodonga Health and a deal had to be struck between the two parties to operate the facility.

"It is premature to say it has been signed because we are waiting for confirmation of that to take place," Mr Aplin said.

"But that has been the aim to facilitate the occupancy in that location.

"AWH doesn't own the site so they need to negotiate with the Mercy in order to bring that into effect."

AWH chief executive Leigh McJames also stressed no deal had been signed, but the Mercy Hospital was the favoured location.

Following the original funding announcement consultants were appointed to come up with the preferred location.

Complicating the project's delivery was the integration of mental health services provided by the Murrumbidgee Health Service in NSW with AWH.

The $3 million hasn't been allocated elsewhere.

"I'm very pleased Albury Wodonga Health will have the responsibility for running this," Mr Aplin said.

"We are looking at premises which are already in existence and will need to be refurbished and modified rather than something that needs to be built from the ground up.

"It is also a health precinct which is of value."

Mr Aplin said he doubted more funding would be needed to make the centre a reality despite the Victorian government describing the initial $3 million figure as "insufficient to achieve the agreed project outcomes" of delivering an integrated service centre for community mental health services.

Meanwhile, Mr Aplin has hinted he is line for a promotion in the NSW Coalition Government with the role to be announced as early as Tuesday.

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