Council, Three Rivers determined to find housing solution for allied health students

$500,000 just isn't enough to purchase a four-bedroom house in Forbes right now, but Forbes Shire Council and Three Rivers Department of Rural Health are committed to finding a place to house allied health students.

A $1.87 million Federal project to bring more allied health students to Forbes and Parkes on clinical placements was announced in February, including $500,000 for housing in Forbes.

But the project has met something of a hurdle, which was up for discussion at Forbes Shire Council's March 17 meeting.

"It presents as a really great opportunity for Forbes but one of the challenges we have is the housing market in Forbes is probably not compatible with a $500,000 spend and hence why I'm quite keen to flag this with the council and look at ... how we might work with the council to take that forward," Chris Howard from Three Rivers explained to councillors via video link.

"We've got $500,000 to spent in Forbes to purchase a four-bedroom house - we can either purchase a house and refurbish it, which would be a struggle with that funding capped funding, or purchase modular pre-built accommodation and locate it on a suitable block of land."

Mayor Phyllis Miller agreed the budget was unreasonable, saying she immediately made a bid for extra funds, and suggested the council find suitable land - with shared equity in the property.

"We've been looking at Nurse Stokes Park, which is across the road from the hospital," she said.

"If we could maybe utilise that, and have some acknowledgement to Nurse Stokes, it's really important because it is allied health and it is going to train students."

Nurse Stokes Park was one of the open spaces identified as an area that could be developed in the recently adopted Recreational and Open Spaces strategy.

Acting Director Planning and Growth Mat Teale said the first step was to check whether the land was designated community or operational.

"That will have to come to the full council, we'll have to look at what our community feels about doing that up at Nurse Stokes Park," Mayor Miller said.

"We'll have to get a full report ... we will have that at our next meeting."