IT is “now or never” for Hamilton’s National Centre for Farmer Health and with State Budget announcements looming, the spotlight is on Lowan MP Hugh Delahunty.
The centre has limped on without funding since it was left out of the 2012 State Budget and management is rallying for a dollar-for-dollar funding agreement between Victoria and the Commonwealth.
Western District Health Service chief executive, Jim Fletcher said talks with Commonwealth representatives had been “promising” but progress in Victoria has stalled.
“We need Hugh (Delahunty) to take on a similar role to that (Federal Wannon MP) Dan Tehan has taken on with respect to advocating for the centre,” Mr Fletcher said.
“We are coming up to a state election and need our local member to ensure the centre is high on his priority list; it’s now or never.”
Mr Tehan has organised a second Canberra meeting, with the centre and Assistant Health Minister, Fiona Nash, next week.
The centre’s proposal is a $500,000 annual commitment, to be matched by Victoria.
The Victorian Government has not budged on its conditional commitment of $250,000 since 2012.
Full story in The Spectator on Saturday, February 8, 2014.