Community's contribution to South West Regional Cancer Centre handed over

CASHED UP:Peter's Project Foundation directors Glenys Phillpot, Vicki Jellie and Vern Robson hand over $5 million to Epworth Healthcare's Paul Fenton. Picture: Rob Gunstone

CASHED UP:Peter's Project Foundation directors Glenys Phillpot, Vicki Jellie and Vern Robson hand over $5 million to Epworth Healthcare's Paul Fenton. Picture: Rob Gunstone

ANOTHER important milestone in the Peter’s Project story was reached on Friday, with the community’s $5 million contribution toward the South-West Regional Cancer Centre (SWRCC) handed over. 

The cheque was handed to Epworth Healthcare, who won the tender to design, build and operate the Radiation Oncology centre for public patients

Peter’s Project Foundation directors Vicki Jellie said she was proud and excited to be able to deliver the money on behalf of the community. 

“Full financial commitment from the Victorian State Government for $15 million was gained in 2013; and the Federal Government has provided $10 million. Today we are adding our $5 million,” she said. 

“The communities of the South West have worked tirelessly for the past six years to make this vital facility a reality. 

“Without such amazing community generosity and support, the dream of specialised cancer treatment would never have come true. 

“Everyone who has donated can stand very proudly together knowing we have achieved such an amazing outcome that will benefit so many in their time of need. 

“We are thrilled to be working together with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Epworth Healthcare to ensure that cancer patients in our region will be able to access a state-of-the-art facility in regional Victoria.” 

Six years after the push for radiotherapy services in Warrnambool first gathered pace, the new centre is finally becoming a reality. 

Radiation bunkers at the Ryot Street site have been finished, a multi-level carpark is taking shape and walls and lift wells are appearing. 

Epworth operations director Paul Fenton said Peter’s Project has the respect and love of the whole community and certainly the admiration of the State Government and Epworth, who are managing the construction of the SWRCC. 

“When it opens next year, the centre will have capacity to treat up to 500 patients a year, helping patients in the region avoid travelling to Geelong and Melbourne for radiotherapy treatment,” Mr Fenton said.

“Overall the project has met all its target dates, and $1.4 million of work has been awarded to local trades. 

“Since building began in February we have up to 31 workers on the site, sourced from both local and Melbourne contractors.”