Bennett off the blocks
Incumbent Burnett MP makes a splash with first Isis election promise
A NEW state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool will not only help revitalise health services but create more jobs for the Isis region.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg and Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett visited Isis War Memorial Swimming Pool on Tuesday to make the announcement, which will see the $300,000 project proceed under a re-elected Newman government.
The project will be funded by the State Government, with Bundaberg Regional Council to take over its design, construction and management once finished.
Childers Family Medicine GP Dr Cindi Jackson and Dr Ian Holthouse were the driving forces behind the plan.
Dr Jackson said she and Dr Holthouse raised the idea with Mr Bennett about 18 months ago during conversations about what facilities were needed in Childers.
“We didn’t hear anything for some time until about a month ago Mr Bennett called us to find out a bit more information,” Dr Jackson said.
“There is still a lot of work to go into it – I’ll believe it when I see it – but it’s fantastic to have the money set aside.”
Mr Bennett thanked the health minister for “listening to the needs of the Childers community”, and trumpeted the benefits for the aging population.
“This facility would ensure patients can access the rehabilitation services they require without having to travel far,” Mr Bennett said.
“Hydrotherapy pools are lauded by health care professionals as being a proven form of rehabilitation for not only the elderly, but those with disability and injured patients.”
Childers aged care facility Forest View CEO Jenny Nixon applauded the plan, which she said was on the “wish list” for years.
“We have a big number of people who go down to the pool now for the aerobics classes and other programs,” Ms Nixon said.
“I’m sure they’ll be very pleased to hear it will be heated and we’ll be able to encourage more people to use it.”
Mr Springborg explained the pools are heated to a constant temperature (34 degrees), and can include ramps, bars and ledges for rehabilitation exercises.
He said the commitment was “another example of the Newman LNP Government’s strong plan to reinvest in frontline health services that Queenslanders deserve”.
Bundaberg Regional Council Division 2 representative Tony Ricciardi said the investment was a huge win for the area.
“Given the low socio-economic status of the area it’s great to have something locally,” Cr Ricciardi said, citing travel costs and other difficulties associated with regular commutes to and from Bundaberg.
Isis Swimming Pool manager Adrian Williams said the project would not only be a valuable asset to the community, but would help create jobs in Childers.
Mr Williams said the new pool could accommodate paediatric services and early learning, as well as the obvious benefits to physiotherapy programs.
FUNDING: Member for Bennett Stephen Bennett on the blocks, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, GP Dr Cindi Jackson, Forest View CEO Jenny Nixon, Isis Swimming Pool manager Adrian Williams and Division 2 councillor Tony Ricciardi at the announcement.