Joy at cancer centre’s $13 million windfall

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Albany MLA Peter Watson with Health Minister Roger Cook
Camera IconAlbany MLA Peter Watson with Health Minister Roger Cook Credit: Saskia Adysti

After more than two years of campaigning, Denmark activist Mary Williams was nearly dancing with joy at Tuesday’s announcement of $13 million funding for an Albany cancer treatment centre.

“I am absolutely overwhelmed and elated,” she said.

“My heart is truly singing and I cannot wait to get out to the patients within the region.”

The State Government’s pledge of $13 million to the pro-ject will see a radiation bunker and treatment facility built after the completion of a successful feasibility study and business case.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the feasibility study would be completed by May.

“This service will be a huge help to people battling cancer and their families,” he said.

“I look forward to the outcome of the feasibility study in May and progressing this project.”

O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said he “couldn’t be more pleased” with the news, six months after he announced $6.6 million for the same facility.

Combined, the project is expected to cost nearly $20 million and, once built, will be the first oncology treatment centre in the Great Southern.

The closest oncology wards to Albany are in Perth and Bunbury, meaning travel will be cut by hundreds of kilometres for some.

Online, Albany Advertiser readers reacted overwhelmingly in support of the announcement.

“(This) will be a much-needed facility,” Graeme Reeves said.

“Instead of going to Perth and staying for weeks on end for radiation treatment, people can stay at home amongst family.”

Albany MP Peter Watson called the community effort “tremendous”, while Genesis Care general manager Michael Davis — whose organisation will be responsible for delivering the centre — said he eagerly awaited the feasibility study results.

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