FROM LEFT: Keeghan Silcock, Jessica Haley, Joan Roots, Diana Fisher and Marshall Fittler
FROM LEFT: Keeghan Silcock, Jessica Haley, Joan Roots, Diana Fisher and Marshall Fittler

Government on notice over hospital upgrade

By Patrizia Reimer

THEY will wait no more for hollow promises to be fulfilled. Fed up with government inaction, Marshall Fittler and others have formed a group to push the State Government to commit to stage two of the Lismore Base Hospital upgrade and new radiotherapy unit.

Regional Community Watch members will launch their campaign on Black Friday, July 13, and say they will give the NSW Government an ultimatum: Commit in one month or we step up our action.

"The NSW Government has been stalling on stage two for four or five years now and the people of this region are absolutely fed up with one procrastination after another," Mr Fittler said at a planning meeting yesterday in Ballina.

"The main aim of this campaign is to persuade the State Government to give us a satisfactory commencement and completion date for stage two.

"We want that within the next month and, if not, we will take further action and draw more organisations into the protest campaign."

The Northern Star, NSW Cancer Council, Country Women's Association and Rural Doctors' Association are already on board, as well as Alstonville High students.

Jessica Haley and Keeghan Silcock, both 17, know cancer can affect young and old. The radiotherapy unit is a critical missing link in the region's health-care facilities.

Keeghan believes that young people understand the importance of this issue and hopes to attract as many youth as possible to the July 13 public meeting.

"As students, we're here to make sure the campaign is a long term thing," she said.

The group believes public pressure is the key to ensuring the Government listens and is urging as many people as possible to attend the July 13 meeting at the Lismore Workers Club, from 7pm-9pm.



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