Cohen pushes to get Base radiotherapy unit
By Brian Bigg firstname.lastname@example.org UPPER HOUSE Greens MP Ian Cohen has used a speech in the NSW Parliament to call for the long-awaited Lismore radiotherapy unit to be fast-tracked.
Mr Cohen gave a commitment at a public meeting last month to lobby the Government to deliver on its promise to provide the community with this important public health facility.
"I have been moved by the number of people contacting my office on this issue, including renowned cookbook author, writer, chef and television presenter Belinda Jeffrey," Mr Cohen told the Parliament.
"The lineal accelerator and radiotherapy unit at Lismore Base Hospital must be fast-tracked.
"Local people have been campaigning on this issue, but the State Government appears not to have heard their pleas.
"The unit is in the latter stages of planning, but this year the Government has budgeted only another $145,000 for it.
"People complain to me that more money is spent refurbishing certain ministers' offices.
"The radiotherapy unit will cost more than $25 million, with the Government projecting that it won't be completed until 2012 to 2014.
"At present, private patients can travel to the Gold Coast for radiotherapy treatment.
"However, public patients must travel to Brisbane or Coffs Harbour, if they are lucky enough to get a place on the treatment list.
"Many people cannot afford financially, physically or mentally to travel those sorts of distances.
"They are forgoing radiotherapy treatment."