Wimmera Cancer Centre to open next year

SKETCH: An architect's drawing of what the Wimmera Cancer Centre might look like at the corner of Arnott and Robinson streets. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

SKETCH: An architect's drawing of what the Wimmera Cancer Centre might look like at the corner of Arnott and Robinson streets. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

THE new Wimmera Cancer Centre could open as early as July next year.

The state government announced on Tuesday that the centre would receive an extra $1.6 million.

The centre’s entire funding is now secure, meaning it can be built in one stage. 

Wimmera Health Care Group acting chief executive Mark Knights said the centre would take about nine months to build.

He said it would open in July or August next year.

The centre will include nine new day chemotherapy chairs, a wellness service, six renal dialysis chairs and modern accommodation for palliative care services.

The cost of the project is $5.35 million.

“We will now proceed to finalise the documentation and design to allow us to go to tender,” Mr Knights said.

“Under our project program this will be in September with a view to start building in November.

“From the tender submissions a preferred builder will be selected and construction will start.” Mr Knights said the additional funding would allow them to build the entire centre based on their preliminary plans, without having to build it in stages. 

He said concept plans and designs would be finalised over the next few months and form part of the tender documentation process. 

Murtoa cancer survivor Rachael Littore thanked the community for their efforts in fundraising for the Wimmera Cancer Centre.

Miss Littore contacted Member for Mallee Andrew Broad in 2014, urging him to establish a state-of-the-art cancer centre in the region.

She, 27, was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in 2013. The fundraising campaign for the Wimmera Cancer Centre, Rachael’s Wish, was named after her.

Miss Littore said she couldn’t believe it when she heard the news about the new funding on Tuesday.

“It’s an absolute blessing,” she said.

Miss Littore is a teacher and tells her students that their opinions matter.

“There are people in the community whose job it is to provide us with what we need,” she said.

“It is up to us to tell them and it’s nice to see them come through.” 

Miss Littore’s treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma had to be administered between Horsham, Ballarat and Mildura

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