FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch and COUCH Chairman Charles Woodward have again joined forces for the benefit of the local community, today ‘turning the sod’ at Stage 1 of the $9 million COUCH Wellness Centre in Manoora, Cairns.
The three-stage project will include facilities for respite and a range of complementary therapies providing a holistic approach to cancer treatment which will work in tandem with the patients’ clinical therapies.
Mr Entsch has long been a supporter of COUCH and it was in 2007 that he successfully secured the initial $8.3 million for the building of the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre.
“Then, in 2010, I was able to secure a funding commitment for the establishment of the Wellness Centre. This year, in 2013, I’ve again made this outstanding initiative a high priority in my pre-election ‘wishlist’.
“It’s incredible what COUCH has already achieved and I congratulate Charlie Woodward and the team for everything they’ve done,” Mr Entsch said.
The Woodward family has donated the 2.2ha Reservoir Rd site, which has been in their family for 70 years, and the centre is expected to open in 2014.
“Building the wellness centre is so important for cancer sufferers because after they receive treatment, their mind and soul also require nurturing – key elements in the recovery process,” Mr Woodward said.
Contributions have also been received by the business community with FGF Developments and Trinity Petroleum making significant donations toward the cost of the stage 1 road works.
The Wellness Centre is the second major initiative undertaken by the COUCH committee, who campaigned and raised funds for the construction of the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre. This centre opened in 2011 and provides radiation and medical oncology treatment facilities for cancer patients.“I have also called on the Labor candidate for Leichhardt, Billy Gordon, to secure a commitment of funding for the Wellness Centre. At least then we can be sure whatever the outcome of the election that the centre will be built in the next three years, given the desperate need we have in the community.”
Inspecting the new Wellness Centre site off Reservoir Rd, Manoora, are (L-R) project founders Pip and Charlie Woodward, Mr Entsch and COUCH board member and project manager Ron Holden.