A state-owned land and property development organisation has proposed a new ‘sustainable and affordable’ housing project on the block of land where the now defunct Bulli Cottage Hospital stands.
The Bulli Hospital and Aged Care Centre (formally known as the old Bulli Cottage Hospital) is not in use but some locals are concerned the proposed Landcom project will make Hospital Rd, Bulli, too busy.
Woonona/Bulli Facebook community group members have expressed concerns about road safety, heritage value of the site, and that only 10% of the proposed housing will be allocated for affordable living, despite the land originally being donated.
“The traffic will be unbelievable. Not to mention the parking or lack of it. Bulli bypass needs to be built first,” Bulli resident Matt Brown said.
Member for Keira and Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park said it was important to acknowledge the current housing market in the local area.
“There is a housing crisis within our community, there is insufficient affordable housing and a lack of affordable rental accommodation to meet the demands of the community,” Mr Park said in an email.
“I will encourage the community to have their say when the development application opens for community consultation.”
A Landcom media manager said they were “unable to respond to student requests” though, in a media release, Landcom’s Acting CEO Matthew Beggs said the project would provide housing for essential workers.
“Housing supply and affordability is a key issue for the region and a key feature of the development will be ensuring that a proportion of the new dwellings are set aside for workers providing essential local services such as health, childcare and retail,” Mr Beggs said.
The Old Bulli Hospital was established six years after the 1887 Bulli Mine Disaster, where a methane gas explosion killed 81 men and boys. The community united to establish a local public hospital and the Bulli Cottage Hospital was opened in 1893. Mr Park has been an advocate for the state government to preserve the history of the Bulli Cottage Hospital.
“It is important to recognise the historical heritage of Bulli Hospital. One hundred and thirty years ago, the local community raised funds from local coal miners, who sacrificed part of their wages. The community, through fundraising efforts, built the hospital,” Mr *Park said.
“I am proud that through advocacy together with the local community we were successful in keeping the Bulli Hospital name and for also memorialising the proud history of the hospital in the new hospital building. I have long urged the government to preserve the rich history of the old Bulli Hospital.”
Feature image: Black Diamond Heritage Centre