Meredith Dennis has mounted to fundraising campaign to hire nine staff members for the Wedgetail retreat hospice.  Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News
Meredith Dennis has mounted to fundraising campaign to hire nine staff members for the Wedgetail retreat hospice. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News Nolan Verheij-full

Tweed Palliative funding ‘snub’

THE Tweed's terminally ill patients have been left out in the cold by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, according to the head of the state's only palliative support clinic.

Tweed Palliative Support president Meredith Dennis, whose organisation runs the Wedgetail Retreat for dying patients at Dulguigan was outraged Mr Turnbull had overlooked the charity for funding, while pledging $5 million to a new end-of-life care hospice in Victoria.

Mr Turnbull pledged on May 24 to fund Anam Cara House near Geelong to expand its hospice with a new 20-bed community facility. The project will be further supported by $10m in locally-sourced project funding, and philanthropic donations. But Ms Dennis said Wedgetail was NSW's only adults' community hospice and had been applying for grants and lobbying local MPs to no avail for more than a year.

"Malcolm Turnbull has left NSW's palliative care hospice patients, including the disadvantaged, out in the cold," Ms Dennis said.

"(Last week) he pledged $5m to a new project for a hospice in Victoria and despite intensive government lobbying, won't even give existing Northern NSW community hospice, Wedgetail Retreat - the only adults' community hospice in NSW a mere $500,000 to help with 24/7 nursing care and medical equipment.

"That is, despite us saving the government hundreds and thousands of dollars each year."

Ms Dennis left messages on the PMs social media pages in hope of a response.

"I am deeply frustrated that Malcolm Turnbull finds $5m for a new project when NSW's existing community hospice is in urgent need of funding," she said.

Comment has been sought from the PM's office.


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