Petition calls for ongoing respite centre funding

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Respite for Queanbeyan founder Tony Wood.

FOUNDERS of a soon-to-be built respite centre in Queanbeyan are using a petition to call on state and federal governments to fund the respite centre’s ongoing running costs. 

A petition to the state government, lodged a few weeks ago, has fetched about 200 signatures, but Respite for Queanbeyan committee member Tony Wood said more are needed.

“Our goal is 10,000 signatures, because that shows there’s demand for this kind of facility in our community,” Mr Wood said.

Once off the ground, Respite for Queanbeyan will be a six-bed facility providing short-term (maximum of two weeks) residential care for people  aged 18 to 59 who are suffering from a terminal or chronic illness.

Construction on the $1.5 million project is expected to start in June.

Both state and federal governments have committed $750,000 each towards the building costs and a site on Ross Road in Queanbeyan has been gifted by the Queanbeyan-Palerang Council.

But the committee needs certainty that the facility will be able to operate, estimating it will cost $1 million a year to run.

“We need ongoing funding,” Mr Wood said.

“This facility will save federal and state governments $1.5 million a year from people not going into the aged care or hospital system.

“There is a huge need for this… there’s no other place in NSW that a person between the ages of 18 to 59 with a terminal illness can stay while their loved ones can have respite.”

While the federal government petition is still pending, the state government petition can be signed on the NSW parliament website.

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