Serious questions about Banksia Mental Health Unit
Last week in Parliament, my colleague Mark Banasiak MLC requested through what is known as Standing Order 52 all papers relating to the upgrade of the Banksia Mental Health Unit in Tamworth.
I have been contacted by a number of concerned community members about the capacity of the new Banksia which serves as the inpatient mental health facility for the entire northwest of NSW including parts of the Barwon electorate.
The Clinical Services Plan does not support any new general purpose or young person’s mental health beds before 2031. This is despite recently released survey of the mental health of children and adolescents identifying that one in seven have experienced a mental health disorder in the past year. The Health District relies on the Clinical Service Plan to justify not building capacity for additional acute adult mental health care beds but nobody outside the health bureaucracy has ever been able to see this Plan.
Mark and I have asked the Government to release all the papers because the decision not to expand Banksia does not add up to us or to the community. If the NSW Government is going to spend public money there needs to be assurances that what we build won’t be outgrown by the time it is finished. The Government has until mid-June to provide the information we have requested.