Yamba health campaigner Jim Agnew OAM and Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin celebrate a milestone for delivering community health services to the Lower Clarence.
Yamba health campaigner Jim Agnew OAM and Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin celebrate a milestone for delivering community health services to the Lower Clarence.

Health gets rolling

THE first sod was turned yesterday for the $5.5 million community health centre in Yamba.

As reported last week, the new facility will be named in honour of Yamba health campaigner Jim Agnew.

Page MP Janelle Saffin was at the sod turning yesterday and paid tribute to the stalwart's tenacity, which will mean health services for up to 20,000 local residents.

Ms Saffin said she lobbied hard to secure $4.3 million in Federal funding towards the Jim Agnew OAM Health Centre.

"Big Jim calls me the Mighty, Mighty Mouse because we have a few things in common; if we see a need in the community, we campaign to fix it and we never give up," she said.

"I believe that good projects like this one always find their time, and for the people of Yamba and the Lower Clarence that time has finally come.

The New South Wales Government is contributing $1.2 million towards the project on land originally gifted by the former Maclean Shire Council, now the Clarence Valley Council.

The contract for the building job went to Ballina-based Woollam Constructions and its regional manager Ben Cummins said the project will employ up to 100 locals directly and indirectly during the 26-week construction period.

Mr Agnew thanked Ms Saffin for the key role she played in lobbying for the lion's share of the funding needed to bring his dream to reality.

"This has been a very long, difficult job, but it has been worthwhile," Mr Agnew said.

"We have some knockers who didn't believe this day would come, and we have some great believers who have been instrumental in seeing this day.

"I thank Janelle Saffin and former Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell for their partnership in this issue. If all politicians worked the same way, things would get done."



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