"Corumbene read to roll" - New Norfolk & Derwent Valley News

Federal funding for Corumbene Care's ambitious health hub project at Willow Court in New Norfolk will allow work to start in the next six months, outgoing chief executive Damien Jacobs said last week.

Mr Jacobs, who is leaving to run Glenview Community Services, described the federal funding as the "icing on the cake". 

"It's a $10 million project and we've secured just short of $9 million in funding," MR Jacobs said.

He described the funding as a hybrid of federal and state funding.

"We've already had funding support through various state bodies and departments, so we've been highly successful, which is amazing," he said.

"We never thought we would quite get all of what we asked, but in fact we got more because UTAS has jumped in on the journey as well."

Mr Jacobs said the involvement of the University of Tasmania would see the inclusion of a training precinct within the health hub.

"It's the more than we ever expected."

He said the aim of developing a health hub in two disused buildings at Willow Court was to create an environment to attract new services or expand existing ones to meet local needs.

On-site services will include general practioners as well as pharmacy, radiology and mental health among others. It may also include things such as legal aid.

"It's not just what people percive as health," Mr Jacobs said.

"It's starting in the middle and working your way out gradually and attracting those services and we've got 2000 square metres.

"We see this as a launching pad for the greater region. It's not just for the Derwent Valley - it's the Southern Midlands, Central Highlands and beyond.

"We've seen it work really effectively in Victoria and there are some really powerful models out there, but every precinct that we've seen has been very different in how it's been funded and the services it provides."

Mr Jacobs said Corumbene's ownership of the former Derwent and Esperance buildings gave the organisation a head start during the current skills shortage.

"With our funding arrangement we haev to start in six months. The beauty is we already have the walls and roofs," he said.

"We've got an awesome ehad start. This is more of a clean-up and fit-out."

Visiting the site with incoming chief executive Alison Standen last week, Lyons MHR Brian Mitchell said the federal funding was great news for primary healthcare in the Derwent Valley.

"It shows what can be achieved when federal funding is used properly, instead of being rorted for political purposes," he said.

"I've been backing the Corumbene expansion for years and I'm delighted to see it funded."