THE new Albury ambulance station will be ready by 2014, 20 years since a former Liberal government promised one “within five years”.
It will cost $4 million, four times that of one envisaged in 1994.
Former member for Albury Ian Glachan had been pressing for a new station when then health minister Ron Phillips announced in December 1994 that his government had allocated $1 million for a large new station for Albury.
The Border Mail reported it would be probably built next to the new $58 million base hospital in Borella Road, which Mr Phillips had opened the previous October.
Significantly, Mr Phillips’ spokesman said at the time that it was up to the NSW ambulance service to determine the timetable for building the new station, as the government merely provided the funds.
There were several reasons the 1994 project did not go ahead.
One was the difficulty in determining a suitable site combined with the uncertainty over whether Albury would get an external or internal bypass.
The Liberal government led by John Fahey was defeated in March, 1995, when Labor under Bob Carr took office.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin renewed the campaign for an ambulance station even before he was elected member for Albury in 2006.
Premier Barry O’Farrell acknowledged yesterday that Mr Aplin had been a persistent advocate both in opposition and government.
Mr Aplin said last night he was delighted with the promised funding, which would see the project built in the term of the present government.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner was asked at a media conference what would happen to the old site in Dean Street, which is a heritage building.
Mrs Skinner said it was too early to say.