January 2018 Presidents Report

One of this year’s big agenda items is the full reconstruction of Griffith Base Hospital. The long awaited project is expected to cost between $200 -$300 million dollars, so it’s vital we get it right.
So how does this affect the business community? Superior health facilities, make it more attractive for people to live and work in Griffith – it attracts skilled labour, thus having a flow on effect to the business community. It will also attract more medical professionals and specialists and build Griffith as a regional hub for medical services.
A strong Griffith Base Hospital, that will serve our community for another 30 years is absolutely fundamental, and only then will the Community Private Hospital be a sustainable complementary facility.
When looking at our regions population projections, obvious flaws appear within Murrumbidgee Local Health districts figures.
Read stats here
The confirmed Census figures for Griffith’s (Primary Catchment - the largest centre in GBH region) LGA for period 2006 to 2016 saw a population growth of 7.7% from 23,798 in 2006 to 25,641 in 2016.
ID Community Forecasts with Griffith City Council says: 
The Griffith City population forecast for 2018 is 26,764, and is forecast to grow to 30,507 by 2036. 13.98%

Yet the Clinical Services plan say’s –
“Population for 2016 is 25,620 and has increased by 0.4 % (525 persons) since 2011. Growth is projected to continue at a slower rate, increasing by a further 0.01% pa (371 people) between 2016 and 2031.”
These incorrect ‘doomsday’ population projections underplay our needs & to build a hospital based on the needs of their projections is wildly inaccurate.
When extrapolated over a long period of time they significantly distort the need for vital services in our community & DO NOT properly account for our ageing population.
The population forecasts in the secondary catchment area also need review.
Primary & Secondary projections  in Clinical services plan;
“2011 was 58,877 persons, which is projected to decrease by 2,357 to reach 56,520 persons in 2031.
While the overall catchment population is projected to decrease, it should be noted that the aging profile of the population projects an increase in 65+ year olds and a change to the age structure of the catchment. The largest projected increase between 2016 and 2031 is for the 70-74 age group, a 51% (or 1,180 persons) rise. Overall, the number of residents aged 65 and over will increase by 3,840 between 2016 and 2031. “
It is understood that some of the outer regional areas have had population decline over recent years BUT current trends with significant agribusiness investment must be taken into account.
We are on the cusp of an agribusiness boom and an acknowledgement that food & fibre successes will create a reversal of previous trends & ultimately lead to growth.
MLHD is currently finalising The Clinical Services Plan for Griffith Base Hospital. The Plan provides guidance regarding health service needs in to the future and will assist in the development of a Master Plan. The plan is available to view on here  and is now open for consultation and feedback.  
Send your submission to this email address : MLHD-FeedBack@health.nsw.gov.au
We encourage and need as many people as possible to lodge your submission, opinion and experiences. The master plan needs to reflect our communities needs.
Please take the time to engage and participate in this very important issue that affects everyone.
On a lighter note, Griffith Business Chamber will be hosting a Motivational Event on Thursday 25th January  from one of our members Griffith Counselling and Mediation Services. We are all about supporting and promoting our local members and the start of 2018 is ideal timing to motivate you for the year ahead.  We’ve listened to your feedback and will be bringing you events based on your suggestions. You’ll find this event inspirational and just what you need to forge ahead into 2018!
Read more about it here 

We will also have a very exciting tour, visiting some of the most innovative and interesting members. More details to be released soon.
Preparations are well underway for The Business Awards and it’s shaping up to be a fantastic event for the business community.  For more information or sponsorship opportunities please contact Amanda Quarisa on 0412 644  629.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy & prosperous 2018.
Kind Regards
Paul Pierotti