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Finley's $9m care plan

Finley Regional Care CEO wants new medical, cultural centres in Finley.

December 6, 2012 4:19am

Finley Regional Care is applying for an $8.1 million grant to build a medical centre, accommodation for medical professionals and a community cultural centre.

It is hoped the new facilities will help attract more medical professionals, including another doctor, to Finley.

Finley Regional Care chief executive officer Shane Jenkins said the $9 million development would be built on eight hectares of land next to their current facilities, on the corner of Hamilton and Townsend Sts, Finley.

Finley Regional Care operates the Berriquin Nursing Home and Ulupna Lodge at that location.

The organisation also runs Finley’s medical centre, out of the old maternity unit at Finley Hospital.

Mr Jenkins said they plan to move the medical centre out of the hospital to the new facilities.

If the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Round 4 grant application is successful, the development must be completed by December 2016.

Organisations will be told in February if their application made it to the next stage, and the final announcement of grant money will come in April 2013.

Mr Jenkins said a new medical centre would house GPs, allied health professionals such as dentists or physiotherapists, and visiting specialists.

‘‘If we can have a much more modern facility we’re hoping that we can attract a third GP,’’ he said.

Mr Jenkins said a cultural centre could house art exhibitions, provide a home for groups such as the CWA, and host arts courses.

While he admitted there were ‘‘a lot of halls around Finley,’’ Mr Jenkins says they are old and don’t meet current standards.

The CEO also believes there is no facility yet for local artists to exhibit their work in the entire Berrigan Shire.

He said the cultural centre’s close proximity to their aged care facilities would make access easier for the elderly, and help overcome isolation.

The project is actually stage one of a $30 million plan, which will eventually include self care villas, serviced-type apartments and supported living arrangements for older disabled people.

Mr Jenkins said getting stage one completed would make it easier to do the rest of the project, as infrastructure such as plumbing and sewerage will already be done.

If the RDA application is unsuccessful, Mr Jenkins said they would investigate other avenues.

He said there could possibly be funding available due to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, or they could look at forming partnerships with other providers.

Mr Jenkins said they want to provide ‘‘the best services’’ to Finley.

‘‘Just because we’re rural, doesn’t mean we can’t have it,’’ he said.

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