Families in Albany and the Great Southern have waited far too long for locally available, state-of-the-art radiation cancer treatment. The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear, regional communities need access to this vital service today.
In 2017 I secured a $6.6 million commonwealth grant to Genesis Care for a linear accelerator machine to be installed in Albany. This grant was conditional on the machine being operational by June 2019.
Despite Genesis Care estimating a build time of just 12 months, WA Premier McGowan and Health Minister Cook visited the site at Albany Health Campus in February of this year and revealed the radiotherapy service would not be operational until mid-2022.
This delay is unacceptable.
I know our community needs this service to be operational as soon as possible, the current COVID-19 health crisis has only reinforced the risks our most vulnerable face to receive life-changing treatment far from home.
On April 20, Premier McGowan announced a list of major infrastructure projects to be fast-tracked, supporting jobs and boosting local economies. The list included long-awaited projects such as the Albany ring road.
But perhaps the most imperative project for our region, one which will save lives, was left off that list – The Albany Radiation Machine Project.
The radiation therapy machine is ready and waiting, we just need a place to house it.
I’m calling on Premier McGowan to fast-track this vital project so our loved ones can receive potentially lifesaving radiation treatment at home in the Great Southern.