[singlepic id=290 w=320 h=240 float=left]The Queensland Government has now acquired 19.85 hectares of land at Edmonton for a future health facility, Premier Anna Bligh has announced today.

“Today we have delivered on the commitment we made at the Cairns Regional Parliament in October 2008 to acquire land for future use as a health facility in this growth region. I’m proud to have delivered what we promised,” Ms Bligh said.

“The Cairns southern corridor will be one of our major growth areas into the future, and it’s important that we begin planning for the demand that will come as part of this now.

“The land purchase announced today will be specifically set aside for future health facilities.

“It is an insurance policy that will mean there will be additional land for health services in the future as this region undergoes further development,” she said.

The land, known as Mann’s Farm, was acquired in agreement with landowners under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.

The Cairns Base Hospital $446.3 million redevelopment includes funding to purchase the land.

At this early stage, there has been no decision about the type of health facility or services to be located on the site, with use of the land to be factored into future planning.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the land purchase was a major boost for the region’s future health services.

“We worked very closely with the Mann family to reach this agreement and I’d like to acknowledge their support in delivering this vital piece of land for our future health services,” Mr Pitt said.

“The location is of course ideal with the soon to be constructed GP Super Clinic nearby and the potential for complementary services to be positioned at Edmonton Town Centre.

“This is not about splitting the services we already have in Cairns – it’s about looking at what we’ll need for the future and ensuring we have the capacity to continue delivering further facilities and services when they are needed.

“The $446.3 million redeveloped Cairns Base Hospital will remain the primary hospital for Cairns and Far North Queensland.

“Already this year as part of this investment we have seen the securing of the contract for radiation oncology services, which will mean around 340 patients per year will no longer have to travel to Townsville or Brisbane for treatment.

“We have also opened the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory and the new Cairns North Community Health facility.

“The Bligh Government is committed to delivering the health services Far North Queenslanders need now and in the future and we are delivering on this,” he said.

Mann Family spokesperson Craig Mann also welcomed today’s announcement.

‘’The Mann Family has been farming the land continuously since the 1890s, and whilst parting will occur with some feelings of regret, the family accepts that the land use of the site needs to change,” Mr Mann said.

“The fact that the land will in future be used to help provide vital health services for our community, would have immensely pleased previous generations of the family, who unreservedly did the hard yards.

“The location of the future health precinct will complement and enhance the status of the future Edmonton Town Centre which will be located on the balance of the Mann Family land.”

The Mann Family is now finalising the Master Plan while ensuring that the Health Precinct, at the appropriate time, will fully integrate with the Town Centre.

The redevelopment of Cairns Base Hospital will provide an additional 168 overnight and same day beds by the end of 2014, bringing the total to 531 beds.

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