WITH demolition of the old Mullumbimby Hospital due to begin within weeks an alliance of residents and community organisations from across Byron Shire is demanding the tal site remain in community hands.
The group will stage a rally at the hospita site at 11am this Sunday to keep the site for the community after it was revealed that the NSW Department of Health intends to demolish the hospital buildings by the end of the month.
"There has been no consultation. This is a snub to the community and paves the way for the sale of the hospital site for private residential use," spokesman for the group Mike New said.
"This is despite repeated community demands for the site to remain as a community asset as it has been for more than 117 years."
"The Department's decision also brings serious safety concerns for local residents who fear that, in the absence of a publicly available contamination report, the demolition works will spread asbestos fibres from the aging buildings to surrounding houses, schools and the nearby aged care facility."
Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson said, "The Mullumbimby Hospital site has over 100 years of history of community use and value."
"The community love this site, have raised huge amounts of money to support the hospital and now it is crucial for our community to have a say in its future.
"I respectfully request the Hon. Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health, to defer any demolition or activity on site until appropriate community consultation has occurred and until the department considers alternative community proposals."