The Federal Government could be accused of ignoring the health needs of Grenfell after the shire missed out on funding for the new state-of-the-art medical facility, despite years of lobbying.
Weddin Shire has again been unsuccessful in securing money for the Medical Centre after applying for a grant under the National Stronger Regions Fund in three consecutive rounds. Surrounding councils have been successful with funds committed to saleyard expansions at Forbes and development at Parkes Airport. Weddin Shire Mayor Mark Liebich said the medical centre is critical, as there is currently only one doctor servicing 4,000 shire residents. "I just don't understand why the government's not helping us fulfill core community facilities," Mayor Liebich told ABC Central West. "We see other places get funding for airports and saleyards, goodness me, I think health probably comes first, at the moment Grenfell is very upset with the government’s decision. We go to other towns to see doctors and get turned away because their books are full as well. What are we supposed to do? I'd just like to ask the government to come to their senses to try to help communities like ours." Clr Liebich told ABC Central West. Council has said Grenfell's economy is losing more than $13 million a year because people are travelling to other towns for medical services. Mayor Liebich said he was unsatisfied with an explanation from government that council had not provided sufficient evidence about securing partner funding for the project. We actually did, the evidence was all there in our application, there's no excuse, it's extremely disappointing," he said. Federal member Michael McCormack said while the grant program was oversubscribed, he was confident a strong case could be made for funding Grenfell’s medical centre. "I'll work with council to make sure the next submission is watertight, a letter from one of the partners offering funding was not current, it needed to be. I’ll work hard with the council to make sure that the next submission has all the updated letters, has all the criteria met, and we'll see what we can do." Mr McCormack told ABC Central West.