Lismore healthcare workers to benefit from $200.1 million boost to rural health worker accommodation

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has welcomed a NSW Budget announcement that some of 120 new health worker dwellings will benefit healthcare workers in the Lismore area.
Media Release

***Video Grabs for Minister Ryan Park HERE***

Healthcare workers in Lismore will benefit from improved access to housing following the additional $200.1 million NSW Government commitment to key health worker accommodation as part of the 2024-25 NSW Budget.

The funding is intended to support the recruitment and retention of over 500 health workers and their families in regional, rural and remote NSW, including right here in Lismore by providing a range of new worker accommodation.

Housing is the single largest cost of living issue people are facing. The NSW Government will continue to address the housing crisis so additional accommodation will be made available for people who require it, including key health workers. 

Early assessment has identified a number of possible future locations such as Lismore, Lake Cargelligo, Tweed Heads and Eurobodalla. The Government will prioritise providing housing options in areas that most need to attract workers and deliver healthcare accessibility.

The Government will secure approximately 120 dwellings, a proportion of which will be situated in Lismore, which may include the building of new accommodation, refurbishment of existing living quarters, and possible purchase of suitable properties such as motels. 

NSW Health will work with the Northern NSW Local Health District, NSW Ambulance, Homes NSW, and the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to understand key health worker accommodation requirements.

The extensive planning and design process of the units will be developed in close consultation with health workers to ensure comfort and suitability to their needs, allowing them to securely establish themselves in the area and connect with the community. The accommodation will be delivered over the next four years.

This investment builds on the $45.3 million in accommodation for key healthcare workers in the Murrumbidgee, Southern NSW and Far West Local Health Districts, which commenced in 2024 and will continue to be rolled out through 2025.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Ryan Park:

“Investing in affordable and accessible accommodation is a key factor in attracting and retaining health workers and ultimately enhancing the delivery of care across rural and regional hospitals.”

“Our Budget is focused on strengthening and supporting our highly skilled health workforce to ensure NSW’s regional and rural communities have access to high quality healthcare close to home.”  

“Based on early mapping and surveying of key worker accommodation requirements, we know that it is ‘not a one-size-fits-all’ approach. There will be a variety of solutions for each selected location. This is about tailoring solutions to the needs of the specific communities.”

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Daniel Mookhey:

“This is a must-have investment in the state’s regional and rural health workforce.

“This additional $200.1 million investment will build on the NSW Government’s commitment to recruit and retain health workers in regional and remote parts of the state.

“We can afford to do this because cutting the state’s debt means we’ve cut the state’s interest bill. And we’re using those savings to make a difference for health workers and the communities they live in.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin:

“The plan to provide some housing for our health workers in Lismore and other areas is fantastic and very welcome.

“We have long lobbied for housing to be provided for our frontline workers and the fact that the NSW Minns Labor Government is doing it is the start of good policy.  This along with the other housing measures will fill a void long neglected and will over time address rent affordability.

“I thank the Minister for Health Ryan Park and say bring it on.”