The construction of a new purpose-built healthy living centre in Cairns means patients with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities can stay closer to home and support networks for rehabilitation.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who turned the first sod today, said the new Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre would improve access to health services in Far North Queensland.
He said the $8.8 million construction aspect of the project was jointly funded by the Australian Government and Spinal Life Australia Ltd on a 50:50 basis.
“This project will include seven units for transitional and respite accommodation, six therapy rooms to provide the full array of allied health services, as well as training rooms and office space for Spinal Life Australia professionals and staff,” Mr Entsch said.
“The centre will also include a hydrotherapy pool and a gymnasium for physical rehabilitation, which are so important for a person’s health and wellbeing, along with a café to relax afterwards.”
Spinal Life Australia CEO Michael Powell said the centre’s construction is set to boost the local economy, with ongoing jobs and training opportunities that will provide long-lasting benefits to the entire community.
“This centre will bring much-needed specialist services closer to home for Far North Queenslanders with spinal cord damage and related physical disabilities, supporting their health and wellbeing and ensuring they can access vital rehabilitation where and when they need it,” Mr Powell said.
“The accessible accommodation will be ideal for residents and visitors holidaying in the region, along with people who are transitioning home from hospital and need somewhere to stay while support services and home modifications are being arranged.
“We are incredibly excited to mark the start of construction and grateful to the Australian Government for supporting this life-changing project.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Federal Government’s $4.4 million investment would give the local economy a boost.
“Once open, the centre will improve health expertise in the region, giving students the chance to undertake practical studies on-site and allow allied health professionals to continue their professional development,” Mr McCormack said.
“The centre will also create training opportunities to share expertise across workforces in Far North Queensland, which will help improve health outcomes in rural and remote areas.”