|CANCER centre campaigners have redirected the sights on the national
capital with the Peter’s Project cause ignored by both sides of federal
A deputation including founder Vicki Jellie will head
to Canberra within months to meet with Health Minister Tanya Plibersek
and opposition counterpart Peter Dutton.
Their move comes
after the state government followed through on its $5 million pledge for
a cancer-care centre to be built at Warrnambool Base Hospital.
Jellie said although the $5 million was appreciated, the group needed
an extra $30 million from the federal government in order to get the
project off the ground.
She called on Ms Plibersek and
Labor as well as Mr Dutton and the Coalition to make a firm commitment
to contribute the $30 million to the cause.
members also plan to meet key independents Tony Windsor, Andrew Wilkie
and Rob Oakeshott in order to press their point towards Canberra’s
The announcement comes after Regional
Cities Minister Denis Napthine turned up the heat on the federal
government, calling on Ms Plibersek to consider the south-west’s case
for cancer care.
Mrs Jellie said neither Labor nor the Coalition at a federal level had committed funding towards south-west cancer services.
said both sides of politics needed to get on board to ensure that
south-west cancer patients were treated for life-threatening illnesses
in their own backyard instead of travelling hundreds of kilometres each
“We are going to Canberra and our main objective is secure funding commitments from both sides,” Mrs Jellie said.
want to meet with both the Federal Health Minister and the shadow
health minister and hopefully secure a commitment from one or both.
“Supporting us with words is not enough, we need the money behind us to ensure the centre becomes a reality.”
Peter’s Project member Glenys Phillpot said it was vital the group
secured bipartisan agreement on federal funding for a cancer-care
She said committee members were keen to meet with
Ms Plibersek and Mr Dutton to personally put forward the south-west’s
case for radiotherapy and related services. “Peter’s Project has always
been an activist group, not a fund-raising group,” Mrs Phillpot said.
“Every dollar has been voluntarily committed by the community to the point where we have now raised $500,000.
“Bearing that in mind, every donation made represents a vote for this project.”
state government commitment will be rolled out over the next two
financial years with $200,000 expected to be spent in 2012-13 and the
remaining $4.8 million pencilled in for 2013-14.
Neither Ms Plibersek nor her predecessor Nicola Roxon have met with Peter’s Project committee members since the group formed.
Leader Tony Abbott and opposition treasurer Joe Hockey have met with
Mrs Jellie during the past two years to discuss the group’s intentions.
A cash commitment has not been offered by either side.