Dear Wombat Post Readers,

This week the Masterplan for the Daylesford Hospital has been released, coinciding with the 160th anniversary of the Hospital.

The Daylesford and District Historical Society has presented a delightful exhibition which includes fascinating photos and artifacts over the life of the Hospital ending with posters of the new Masterplan. (I was particularly taken with the photos of the queens! – a special fundraiser for the Hospital).

The exhibition will end this weekend so I urge you to see it. The Masterplan posters will then be displayed in the Daylesford Hospital foyer, or you can see the Masterplan on line.

The adoption of the Masterplan by the Central Highlands Rural Health board, and its public release, is a key milestone in achieving the upgrade of the Daylesford Hospital. Without the Masterplan there could be no major upgrade. The Masterplan is a key requirement to be eligible for government capital grants.

However, it is more than that. You will see that the Masterplan has been created with great skill and sensitivity not only to the needs of modern health services, but also to its context in Daylesford. It is respectful of heritage; it recognizes its residential location; it looks to growing needs in community health; it preserves special trees and even includes a playground! I am personally thrilled that the architect, Richard Blight, has delivered a plan that is so responsive to the range of requirements.

The Masterplan has been designed so that the Daylesford Hospital upgrade can be undertaken in tranches. This makes sense, both politically – we envisage that it is easier for governments to allocate funds for components of work on the Hospital, rather than in one go – but also recognizes that it is logistically easier to redevelop in stages on a site that continues to deliver services in residential aged care, clinical services, community health and administration. Money had already been granted from State government for a new operating theatre and this component will be rebuilt first.

Our task now is to ensure that Federal and State governments commit to fund the Masterplan. The Daylesford Hospital Upgrade Appeal Committee, which I chair, is seeking your support to lobby for a public commitment to upgrade the Daylesford Hospital.

Will you please write to our local state member, Mary Anne Thomas, and the Minister for Health, Martin Foley requesting that they ensure funds are allocated for the Daylesford Hospital upgrade.

Please let our politicians know how important the Daylesford Hospital upgrade is to you by emailing them via:

The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MLA, Member for Macedon

The Hon. Martin Foley MLA, Minister for Health

If you live in the Ripon Electorate, please email all three politicians below:

Liberal Member for Ripon, Louise Staley MLA

Liberal Shadow Minister for Health,
Georgie Crozier, MLC

ALP candidate for Ripon, Martha Haylett

The Daylesford community has demonstrated its strength in raising the funds for the Masterplan and the result has been spectacular. Please continue to participate by writing letters or emails in support of the Hospital, and copy (cc) me on I believe that our collective support will achieve the goal of the upgraded Daylesford Hospital – a proud health service for the 21st century.

Cr Lesley Hewitt
Chair, Daylesford Hospital Upgrade Appeal Committee