Sun, 10/12/2006

The establishment of a bulk billing medical co-operative moved a step closer recently with the formation meeting of the West Belconnen Health Co-Operative.

The public meeting confirmed the new constitution and elected an inaugural board of nine. At the first meeting board meeting Roger Nichol was elected as Chair continuing on from that role on the steering committee.

In October 2004 a group of concerned North West Belconnen residents held a public meeting to discuss the lack of medical services for residents in Charnwood, Flynn, Fraser, Macgregor and Latham.

The meeting resolved to establish a steering committee to investigate the establishment of a bulk billing medical service and, with the assistance of a $15,000 grant from the ACT Government, a feasibility study was undertaken.

The study showed conclusively that such a service would be viable and the committee then commissioned a business plan while undertaking the long process of becoming a legal entity.

Negotiations are currently underway to lease space in the former Charnwood High School and it is hoped that the centre will open in the first half of 2007.

Mary has worked with the steering committee since its inception and arranged meetings with ACT Government officials and prospective corporate sponsors.

"It is a great privilege to work with such committed community activists and to help make this health centre a reality for the people of West Belconnen" Mary said