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North Burnett

$2.43m North Burnett project offers hope amid COVID crisis

WHILE the region continues to reel from the impacts of the COVID pandemic, a beacon of hope is emerging in North Burnett.

The $2.43 million project to deliver a purpose-built IWC North Burnett Health & Wellbeing Centre in Gayndah to serve the whole of the region is proceeding on track and on budget.

“We couldn’t let the pandemic slow down this project,” said IWC General Manager Wayne Mulvany, “because it is offering a very real opportunity for the region to move ahead in relation to Primary Health Care. Everyone across the North Burnett will see the benefits of this important infrastructure.”

IWC is Aboriginal Community-driven and a Registered Charity, offering services to all people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, without discrimination or barriers. It has been a constant in the region for years, establishing a small clinic in Gayndah in 2013 which has become the home of a very active Multidisciplinary Care Team.

“The centre will serve all of the North Burnett region, and build on the services currently delivered by IWC as well as opening the doors to other service providers by offering a purpose-built facility,” said Mr Mulvany.

“This is an exciting project that is rising like a phoenix from the ashes to build community services for all people in the region and generate local jobs.”

The initial phase was to clear the site, bringing in a contractor to remove the former YMCA building to make way for a brand-new facility.

This month, the pouring of the concrete for the foundations of the purpose-built facility comprising community meeting areas, clinical rooms, treatment rooms, reception areas and interview rooms is getting under way.

“We have cleared the old YMCA building but, of course, have retained the large indoor sports stadium which closed in 2016 when the YMCA shut its Gayndah hub. As part of this project, we will be upgrading the sports stadium, developing additional gym capacity plus changing room and toilet amenities.

“The aim is to complete the project and have it up and running for the community next year, in 2021,” said Mr Mulvany.

IWC is Aboriginal community-controlled, non-government and a Registered Charity, offering services to all people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, without barriers or discrimination.

“This project is of a smaller scale than the IWC Health & Wellbeing Complex in Bundaberg, but the effects will be as significant. We are here, working alongside and with the people of North Burnett, to build a brighter future in terms of health, wellbeing, jobs and community resilience.”