Chair Maggie Dwyer introduced Aimee Grinter and Michael Farley from South West Health Care to speak about the redevelopment project underway at the hospital and elsewhere. 
Aimee explained that her role was Communications & Engagement, especially in relation to the redevelopment – she had been here for eight years with SW TAFE and SWHC. Michael was a local, a qualified electrician who had worked in Melbourne for some 20 years – he was project manager for engineering on the project.
Among points made were:-
            # a Government grant of $384.2M would allow the construction of a world-class facility
            # the new facility will be located on the corner of Timor & Hider Streets, and will be of 5 storeys
            # the project will be staged
                        * construction of the Regional Logistic Distribution Centre on the corner of Cooper & Robson 
                                    Street in the industrial estate, completion expected late 2023 – this will allow the move of 
                                    the laundry and other facilities
                        * demolition of the existing building and site preparation including services
                        * construction of the new facility, expected to begin mid-2024 and completed 2027.
            # the new building will be of five storeys
                        Ground Floor – new ED with 38 treatment bays, three times the present
                        1. Admin & Support
                        2. Six operating theatres
                        3. Extra beds (32) and 12 bay dialysis unit with sea views to assist those who must spend long 
                                    periods being treated
                        4. Dedicated Paediatric floor.
            # Extensive consultation and design approval has involved community and all levels of staff/workers
            # Builder should be appointed later this year.
            # The current “underground” carpark off Timor Street will become the kitchen area.
            # The vexed question of parking will be addressed in various ways including a “proper” area at the 
                        Showgrounds (sealed, kerbed, line marked), conversion of a house block near to the hospital to 
                        parking, and several other actions.
The presentation provoked several questions, and there was some discussion of matters.
In thanking Aimee & Michael, Maggie observed that their passion for the project was obvious to all. They directed their “speaker fee” to One Day Studios.
Did you know?
Warrnambool began officially in1847. An 1850 Census of the village showed that there were around 300 persons here and showed the presence of qualified doctors, trained in England or Scotland. As early as 1851, there was a Hospital and Benevolent Asylum located in a doctor’s residence in Henna Street, its purpose being to provide medical care and shelter for the needy. In 1861 the facility moved to new buildings in Ryot Street where it has remained until the present. In 1861, it was known as the Villiers and Heytesbury Hospital and Benevolent Asylum, and its name has changed several times over the years until the current South West Healthcare (SWHC).
Central Warrnambool streets were laid out and named in 1846 by surveyor, William Pickering. It is claimed that the word Ryot comes from the Arabic and was used to describe tenant farmers in northern India. Why Pickering chose it for a street in Warrnambool is a mystery!