The development of a state-of-the-art radiation therapy centre for cancer treatment in Griffith is still on track despite the hurdles brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $20 million project was announced by Cancer Care chairman Tony Noun in February and will see a brand new radiotherapy centre built at the Griffith Medical Specialist Centre.
The centre will mean Griffith and other MIA residents will no longer need to travel to Wagga or beyond for the popular treatment.
Mr Noun aimed to have the centre up and running by 2022 and he has clarified this is still the ambition despite the "numerous challenges" raised by the pandemic.
"Although this year we have and continue to face numerous challenges as a nation and most recently as a state due to the COVID pandemic ... we expect the centre to be open and treating patients during the latter part of the second half of 2022," Mr Noun said.
The project has completed the documentation, consent and approval phases and work is now beginning on planning the construction of the centre and purchasing equipment.
Griffith CanAssist president Olga Forner, who pushed for the centre to be built in Griffith for years, said she was glad to hear work was progressing as planned.
"It's really heartwarming to know that progress was happening," Mrs Forner said.
"We understand that there would be teething problems along the way but it appears everything is being handled very smoothly and Griffith will be a very grateful town to see the radiation centre up and running."
Mrs Forner regularly works with cancer patients who travel to Wagga for radiotherapy treatment and said many "can't wait" for it to be available a little bit closer to home.
"It's so close and patients are really wanting to be some of the first in so they can avoid going to Wagga but they understand it's a process," she said.
"Because of COVID at the moment people are a little bit more uneasy about going to another town and the sooner we can get the centre here in Griffith the better."
The update was also welcomed by the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group's Moreen Corner who said news on the clinic had slowed since the announcement.
"It's all been very quiet so we're really pleased to hear it's all going ahead because it's going to be really helpful for people in Griffith and the outreaching areas," Mrs Corner said.
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